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Johnny Depp Wins $50 Million Defamation Case Against Amber Heard

Johnny Depp Wins $50 Million Defamation Case Against Amber Heard

After three days of deliberation, the jury reached the Depp vs. Heard defamation case verdict.

A Virginia jury unanimously found that Amber Heard's op-ed piece for The Washington Post was defamatory.

Depp will receive $15 million, while Heard is rewarded with $2 million in compensatory damage. The jury found that Heard did not prove all accounts of her countersuit.

Amber attended the verdict reading while Johnny Depp was watching from the UK, where he played gigs with Jeff Beck.

Depp, 58, sued his ex-wife, Heard, 36, for $50 million in a defamation lawsuit over domestic abuse claims she made in a 2018 article in The Washington Post. The actress issued a counterclaim for $100m.

Though the op-ed did not mention Depp's name, it highly suggested that Depp abused Heard sexually and physically during their short-lived marriage.

Johnny Depp Wins $50 Million Defamation Case Against Amber Heard

After numerous witnesses, including supermodel Kate Moss, and six weeks, Virginia's Fairfax County Circuit Court finally reached the verdict.

The name's of the jurors will be sealed for a year.

Benjamin Rottenborn, who represented Amber, said in his closing statement that ruling in Depp's favor would demonstrate that abuse victims "always need to do more."

The lawyer told the jury:

"Mr. Depp simply cannot prove to you that he never once abused Amber, and if you don't know, you have to return a verdict for Ms. Heard."

"A ruling against Amber here sends the message that no matter what you do as an abuse victim, you always need to do more."

"No matter what you document, you always have to document more, no matter who you tell, you always have to tell more people."

"No matter how honest you are about your own imperfections and shortcomings in a relationship, you need to be perfect in order for people to believe you."

"Don't send that message – that's what (Mr. Depp) wants you to do."

Johnny Depp Wins $50 Million Defamation Case Against Amber Heard

Depp's lawyer Camille Vasquez claimed, in the closing statement, that there was no evidence of abuse, as she told the jury:

"It is disturbing to think Ms. Heard would make up the horrific tales of abuse that she testified to in this courtroom."

"What Ms. Heard testified to in this courtroom is a story of far too many women, but the overwhelming evidence and weight of that evidence is that it is not her story."

"It is not Ms. Heard's story."

"It was an act of profound cruelty not just to Mr. Depp, but to true survivors of domestic abuse for Ms. Heard to hold herself out as a public figure representing domestic abuse."

"It was false, it was defamatory, and it caused irreparable harm."

Johnny Depp Wins $50 Million Defamation Case Against Amber Heard

Depp and Heard met on the set of The Rum Diaries and started dating soon after. The two got engaged in 2014 and married in February 2015.

The separation came in May 2016, after Amber Heard alleged domestic violence. She told the Virginia court:

"I knew if I didn't, I'd likely not literally survive."

"I was so scared that it was going to end really badly for me, and I really didn't want to leave him, I loved him so much."

"I would have done anything, but I couldn't do that one thing, I couldn't stay."

The most shocking part of this trial was revealing that it was Depp who was an alleged victim in their marriage.

Johnny Depp previously lost a case against The Sun in 2020. However, the Virginia trial requested more evidence and comparing justice systems in the UK, and the US is quite complex. Also, comparing the two trials is not possible.