The jury in the $50 million defamation lawsuit that Johnny Depp filed against ex-wife Amber Heard has reached a verdict. After 13 hours of deliberation, the jury ruled in favor of Depp and found that Depp proved each of the accusations of defamation he waged against Heard. Depp has been awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
However, the jury also found that Heard won her own defamation suit as well, and Heard was awarded $2 million.
Despite that, Heard’s loss is being felt deeply. She has issued a statement saying, in part, “I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. 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’s worth noting that Depp was not in the courtroom during the reading of the verdict, allegedly owing to “work commitments” in the United Kingdom. A source told People, “Due to previously scheduled work commitments made before the trial, Mr. Depp will not be physically present for today’s 3 p.m. verdict and will be watching from the United Kingdom.”
A spokesperson for Heard commented on Depp’s absence, noting, “Your presence shows where your priorities are. Johnny Depp plays guitar in the U.K. while Amber Heard waits for a verdict in Virginia. Depp is taking his snickering and lack of seriousness on tour.”
Depp filed the lawsuit alleging that Heard’s 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post implied he had domestically abused her and that doing so damaged his career. Heard countersued Depp for $100 million in response.
The verdict comes after several weeks of testimony that brought out the worst details about Depp and Heard’s relationship together. At the conclusion of the trial, Heard’s lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, told the jury, “We’re not asking you to give $100 million. We’re asking you to just look at the damages in this case and just be fair and reasonable in whatever you determine.”