Skip to main content

Depp Heard

On Wednesday, jurors returned a verdict in the most high-profile defamation case of recent times that has been fought for over a month between Hollywood actors Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard in the US state of Virginia.

For six weeks, the court heard the tawdry details of Depp and Heard’s volatile relationship, and its ultimate, unhappy end. Depp sued his ex-wife for defamation for $50 million in damages over an opinion-editorial article she wrote for the Washington Post, alleging she was a domestic abuse victim, though it did not mention him by name. She said she had become a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Heard counter-sued.

The widely-viewed trial featured explicit and graphic evidence and testimonies detailing the former Hollywood couple’s broken relationship. The jury unanimously found that Heard could not substantiate her allegations against Depp and that she knew her claims of abuse were false when she published her 2018 essay.

The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages in his defamation suit. Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Penney Azcarate reduced the punitive damages the jury awarded to Depp to $350,000, which is the state’s statutory cap or legal limit, making his total damages $10.4 million.

Depp Heard

Johnny Depp’s statement

“From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome,” Depp said in a statement on Wednesday. “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.”

Depp said that “the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.”

Heard had countersued for $100 million and said she was only ever violent with Depp in self-defense or defense of her younger sister. Heard’s countersuit centered around three statements made by Depp’s former attorney Adam Waldman in 2020 to the Daily Mail, in which he described Heard’s allegations of abuse as a “hoax.”

The jury found that Depp, through Waldman, defamed Heard on one count. The jury awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages but $0 in punitive damages.

The US Supreme Court ruled in 1964 that defamation suits brought by notable figures must not only prove the claims were false and caused them damage, but that the person who made the defamatory statement did so with “actual malice.”

Amber Heard’s statement

In a statement after the verdict, Heard said: “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 said. “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.”

According to a report in BBC, to some observers, the relationship between Heard and Depp could be summed up in two words: mutual abuse.

Following the verdict, many notable names, local and international stars, took to social media to express their emotions about the trial and its ultimate result. Some shared their joy while others spoke against the public trial or the problems it may have caused to the victims of abuse.

Sharon Osbourne was apparently shocked by the verdict, reacting to it on Piers Morgan’s TalkTV show, Page Six reported. “Wow, it wasn’t what I was expecting. I mean, I wanted Johnny to win but I didn’t expect him to,” she said.

Pretty Little Liars’ Ashley Benson shared a photo of Depp wearing sunglasses and waving, on her Instagram and captioned it: “YESSSSS” with several black heart emojis. Benson also shared Depp’s statement on her Instagram story.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ashley Benson (@ashleybenson)

Amy Schumer posted a quote from feminist Gloria Steinem on Instagram, approximately one hour after the verdict was announced, seemingly alluding to the trial’s verdict without explicitly referencing Depp or Heard in her post.

“Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke,” the quote, which Schumer repeated in the post’s caption, reads. “She will need her sisterhood.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by @amyschumer

Laurie Holden, who plays Crimson Countess in the upcoming season of the TV series The Boys and formerly starred in The Walking Dead, praised the verdict on Twitter.

Model and actor Naomi Campbell reacted to Depp’s post with support. Campbell commented under Depp’s post that shared his post-verdict statement on Instagram, leaving four red heart emojis.

Page Six reported that Campbell previously commented on the trial on her Instagram Story following her friend Kate Moss’ testimony. “YES WAGON TELL IT!!” she reportedly wrote in the Instagram Story post, referring to Moss by her longtime nickname.

The post included a screenshot of an article about Moss’ testimony, in which she said that Depp had not pushed her down the stairs during their relationship, a rumor Heard had alluded to earlier in the trial while testifying.

Actor Armeena Rana Khan highlighted an important point.


Leave a Reply