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Johnny Depp Wins Defamation Lawsuit Against Amber Heard, Awarded $15 Million In Damages

Johnny Depp Wins Defamation Lawsuit Against Amber Heard, Awarded $15 Million In Damages

The jury also awarded Amber Heard $2 million in compensatory damages.

The verdict is finally in after six weeks of testimony in the defamation trial between Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp and his ex-wife, Aquaman 2 star Amber Heard. Depp won all three defamation claims in his case brought against ex-wife Amber Heard over her 2018 op-ed over a Washington Post op-ed in which she claimed to be a victim of domestic violence. Heard never mentioned Depp by name in the article. Depp first filed the $50 million lawsuit in March 2019 claiming that the piece ruined his Hollywood career.  The lawsuit was postponed due to the pandemic and resumed recently. Heard countersued for $100million. Depp was found to have defamed her on one of three claims. As a result, she was awarded $2m in compensatory damages, reports PEOPLE. Depp was awarded $15 million in damages but Heard will only have to pay $10.35 million due to Virginia law cap on punitive damages.



 

 

Depp issued the following statement after the verdict which read 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. All in the blink of an eye. False, very serious and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me. It had already traveled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career.
And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled. The 56-year-old  concluded with: "Truth never perishes."



 

 

Depp lost his U.K. libel suit 19 months before in November 2020 where he sued a British tabloid for calling him a "wife-beater." At the time a London judge upheld the outlet's claims as being "substantially true." When Depp attempted to overturn that decision in March 2021, it was overruled. Heard released a statement on social media where she shared that she was "heartbroken" and "disappointed" at what this verdict will mean for other women. "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," she continued. "It's a setback. It sets back the clock at a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously. I believe Johnny's attorney's succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech that was so conclusive that we won in the UK." I'm sad I lost this case," she added. "But I'm sadder still that I seem to have lost the right I thought I had as an American — to speak freely and openly."



 

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