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Johnny Depp Wins Defamation Trial Against Ex-Wife Amber Heard, Awarded $15 Million

Story Highlights

  • Heard, who was stoic in the courtroom as the verdict was read, said she was heartbroken.
  • Depp, who was not in court Wednesday, said “the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.”
  • The jury found in a 2018 piece in Depp's favour on all three of his claims related to specific statements.
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Mumbai: A jury has ruled in favour of Johnny Depp in his libel lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard. He was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.

But in a split decision, the jury also found that Heard was defamed by one of Depp’s lawyers, who accused her of an elaborate fraud that involved ransacking the couple’s apartment to make it look worse for police. The jury awarded her $2 million.

These decisions end a televised trial that Depp hoped would help restore his reputation, though it turned out to be a spectacle that offered a window into a vicious marriage.

Heard, who was stoic in the courtroom as the verdict was read, said she was heartbroken.

“I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It’s a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously,” she said in a statement posted on her Twitter account.

Depp, who was not in court Wednesday, said “the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.”

“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,” he said in a statement posted to Instagram.

Depp filed a defamation suit in Fairfax County Circuit Court in a December 2018 op-ed she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse” in the Washington Post. His lawyers said he was defamed by the article, although his name was never mentioned.

The jury found in a 2018 piece in Depp’s favour on all three of his claims related to specific statements.

Throughout the proceedings, fans who were overwhelmingly on Depp’s side lined up overnight for coveted courtroom seats. Spectators who couldn’t get in gathered on the street to cheer Depp and jeer Heard whenever they appeared outside.

A crowd of about 200 people cheered when Depp’s lawyers came out after the verdict. “Johnny for president!” one man yelled repeatedly.

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