Johnny Depp-Amber Heard Both Defamed, Rules Jury, but Awards More Money to Depp

The jury ruled in favour of the counterclaim Heard filed after Depp's lawyer called her abuse allegations a hoax.

2 min read
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Edited By :Padmashree Pande

A jury on Thursday, 2 June, ruled that Hollywood actor Johnny Depp had been defamed by his ex-wife Amber Heard, awarding him $15 million in damages in his libel lawsuit.

While the jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages, plus $5 million in punitive damages, Judge Penney Azcarate reduced the latter to $350,000 in accordance with the state's statutory cap.

However, the jury also ruled in favour of the counterclaim Heard had filed after Depp's lawyer called her abuse allegations a hoax, awarding her damages to the tune of $2 million.

Depp had sued Heard for $50 million, alleging that she defamed him when she wrote an op-ed for Washington Post in 2018. In his complaint, Depp called Heard's claims of domestic abuse "categorically and demonstrably false”.

It further stated that the op-ed "depended on the central premise that Amber Heard was a domestic abuse victim, and that Johnny Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her".

Heard later countersued Depp for $100 million, alleging that she was defamed by statements made by Depp's lawyer, Adam Waldman.


She claimed that her ex-husband was running a "smear campaign" against her and described his lawsuit as continued "abuse and harassment".

Heard asked the court to grant her immunity from Depp’s complaint and asks for compensatory damages of “not more than $100m”.

Depp has alleged that Heard frequently turned violent during their relationship and the latter has alleged that she was a victim of physical and sexual violence during her marriage to the actor.

On Thursday, the jury awarded Depp more damages after reaching the verdict that the article penned by Heard on her experience of "sexual violence" was defamatory to him.

'Jury Gave Me My Life Back', Says Depp; 'Setback', Rues Heard 

Depp welcomed the verdict from the six-week defamation case, saying that the jury had given him his life back.

"From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome," he wrote in a post on Instagram.

Depp added that he was "overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and the colossal support and kindness from around the world," and that the verdict left him "at peace".

Meanwhile, Heard called the verdict a "setback" for 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," Heard said in a statement.

"I'm even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback... It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously," she said.

Thursday's verdict concludes a six-week long televised trial that involved dozens of witnesses and flooded social media with memes that deconstructed every aspect of the hearings.

Both Depp and Heard were under scrutiny as video and audio recordings of arguments between the couple were played in court.

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