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Johnny Depp awarded $15 million in damages after winning defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard

On Wednesday, a Fairfax County, Va., jury reached its verdict in the ‘Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard’ defamation trial, ruling unanimously in favor of Depp.  After six weeks of testimony and deliberating for nearly 13 hours, the jury found that Heard intentionally and maliciously defamed Depp when she wrote her 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post about her experiences as a domestic abuse survivor. Heard filed her own $100 million countersuit, claiming Depp and his legal team defamed her by calling her allegations a hoax.

The jury unanimously found “clear and convincing evidence” that Heard defamed Depp when she wrote the op-ed, and acted with actual malice, and awarded $10 million in damages to Depp in terms of compensatory damages, relating to jobs and opportunities lost, and $5 million in punitive damages. There were three statements at issue in Heard’s counterclaim, and the jury found one statement defamatory, awarding Heard $2 million in damages.

Depp was not present in the courtroom to hear the verdict saying ‘previously scheduled work commitments had him watching from the United Kingdom.”   Depp released the following statement after the verdict, saying in part: “Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also, the lives of the people who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed….And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.”

Heard released a statement as well, saying in part: “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband. I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated.”

Editorial credit: Matteo Chinellato / Shutterstock.com

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