FAIRFAX, Va. ( Associated Press) — A jury awarded more than $10 million to Johnny Depp on Wednesday in a defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard.Confirming his stance that Heard claimed that Depp had abused her before and during their brief marriage.
The jury also found that Heard was defamed by a lawyer for Depp, who accused him of an elaborate hoax that included vandalizing his apartment to make him look worse for the police. The jury awarded him $2 million in damages.
These decisions end a televised trial that Depp hoped would help restore his reputation, though it turned into a vicious marriage spectacle. Throughout the trial, fans — by Depp’s side — lined up all night for the coveted courtroom seats. Spectators who couldn’t go in would gather on the street to cheer on Depp and Ger Heard whenever they stepped out.
Hurd, who was depressed in the courtroom as she read the verdict, said she was heartbroken.
“I’m even more dismayed at what this decision means to other women. It’s a setback. It sets back a time when a woman who spoke and spoke could be publicly humiliated. Leaves behind the idea that violence against women should be taken seriously,” she said in a statement posted on her Twitter account.
Depp, who was not in court on Wednesday, said, “The jury gave me my life back. I’m really humble.”
He said in a statement posted on Instagram, “I hope that my quest to tell the truth has helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my position, and those who support them, never give up.” Agreed.”
Depp filed a defamation suit in Fairfax County Circuit Court in a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post in which she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” His lawyers said the article defamed him, though his name was never mentioned in it.
The jury found in favor of Depp on all three of his claims related to specific statements in a 2018 piece.
When evaluating Heard’s counterclaim, jurors considered three statements from a lawyer for Depp, who called his allegations a hoax. They found that one of them had defamed him, with the lawyer claiming that he and his friends “spilled a bit of alcohol and spoiled the place, straightened out their stories,” and called the police.
The jury found that Depp should receive $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, but the judge said state law imposed punitive damages at $350,000, meaning Depp was awarded $10.35 million. to be done.
While the case was clearly about libel, most of the testimony focused on whether Heard was physically and sexually abused, as he claimed. Heard of over a dozen alleged attacksIncluding a fight in Australia – where Depp was shooting a “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequel – in which Depp lost the tip of his middle finger and Heard said he was sexually assaulted with a bottle of wine .
Depp said he never killed Heard And that she was the abuser, although Heard’s lawyers uncovered years-old text messages, Depp sent Heard an apology for her behavior as well as profane texts sent to a friend in which Depp said: He wants to kill Heard and desecrate his dead body.
In some ways, the lawsuit was a repetition of a lawsuit Depp filed against a British tabloid in the United Kingdom, when she was described as a “wife beater”. In that case the judge ruled in favor of the newspaper when it was found that Heard was telling the truth in his description of the abuse.
In the Virginia case, Depp not only had to prove that he never attacked Heard, but Heard’s articles—which focused primarily on public policy related to domestic violence—discredited him. He also had to prove that Heard wrote the article with genuine malice. And to claim damages she had to prove that her article damaged her reputation, as opposed to any article before and after Hurd’s article that detailed the allegations against her.
The case attracted millions through its gavel-to-gavel television coverage and enthusiastic followers on social media, who dissected everything from the actors’ mannerisms to the possible symbolism of their outfits. Both actors have emerged from testing with reputations with unclear prospects for their careers.
Eric Rose, a crisis management and communications specialist in Los Angeles, called the trial a “classic murder-suicide.”
“From a reputation management point of view, there can be no winner,” he said. “They have shed each other’s blood. Now it becomes more difficult for studios to hire any actor because you are potentially alienating a large section of your audience, who like the fact Can’t say you hired Johnny or Amber for a specific project because the feelings are too strong now.”
Depp, a three-time Best Actor Oscar nominee, was a bankable star until recent years. His turn as Captain Jack Sparrow in the film “Pirates of the Caribbean” helped turn it into a global franchise, but he has lost that role. He was also replaced as the title character in the third “Fantastic Beasts” spin-off film, “The Crimes of Grindelwald”.
Despite testimony at trial that he could be violent, abusive and out of control, Depp received a standing ovation after performing for nearly 40 minutes with Jeff Beck at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Tuesday night.
Heard’s acting career has been more modest, and her only two upcoming roles are in a short film and the upcoming “Aquaman” sequel due out next year.
Depp’s lawyers fought to keep the case in Virginia, as state law provided few legal advantages compared to California, where both reside. A judge ruled that Virginia was an acceptable forum for the case because the Washington Post’s printing press and online servers are in the county.