FAIRFAX, Virginia (Fwrd Axis) — After several weeks of testimony and the airing of very private exchanges between a high-profile couple in a televised trial, the jury has ruled in favor of Johnny Depp in his defamation lawsuit against ex-wife, actress Amber Heard on Wednesday, June 1, 2022.
The lawsuit stemmed from a 2018 op-ed Amber Heard published in the Washington Post, wherein the actress described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse,” alluding to accusations she made against Johnny Depp during and after Depp divorced her.
Depp won all three counts and was awarded $15 million dollars in damages, $10 million for compensatory damages and $5 million for punitive damages. The jury also ruled on one count in Heard’s favor for quotes made by Depp’s attorney Adam Waldman that were published in Mail Online, calling Heard’s accusations a hoax on three separate occasions. She was awarded $2 million dollars for the counter-claim, significantly less than the sought-after $100 million.
Johnny Depp addressed the public in the following statement,
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.
My decision to pursue this case, knowing very well the height of the legal hurdles that I would be facing and the inevitable, worldwide spectacle into my life, was only made after considerable thought.
From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me. I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that.
I am, and have been, overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and the colossal support and kindness from around the world. I hope that my quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my situation, and that those supporting them never give up. I also hope that the position will now return to innocent until proven guilty, both within the courts and in the media.
I wish to acknowledge the noble work of the Judge, the jurors, the court staff and the Sheriffs who have sacrificed their own time to get to this point, and to my diligent and unwavering legal team who did an extraordinary job in helping me to share the truth.
The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun.
Veritas numquam perit. Truth never perishes.”
“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. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously.
I believe Johnny’s attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech and ignore evidence that was so conclusive that we won in the UK.
I’m sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American – to speak freely and openly.”
The high profile trial became a spectacle in the court of public opinion, with many fans and supporters of Johnny Depp taking to social media to share disdain for Amber Heard. Many, women included, are furious at the undermining of true victims of domestic abuse and saw Heard’s perceived exploitation of the #MeToo movement as a means to preserve relevancy and use Depp’s name to bolster her own image. While those perceptions will most likely never be confirmed as truth, the public has made up their minds about who the victim was in this case. We’ve learned a lot about Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, but we also learned a lot about ourselves.
Johnny Depp’s attorney Camille Vasquez reacted to the win, stating that Heard’s allegations were clearly “defamatory and not supported by any evidence,” expressing gratitude for the jury’s “careful deliberations.”
Depp’s attorney Ben Chew added that it is, “now time to turn the page and look to the future.”