'Time to turn the page': Johnny Depp's lawyers welcome verdict as Amber Heard's remain silent
A jury on Wednesday, June 1, ruled in favor of Johnny Depp in his lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard. Depp and Heard were squaring off over a 2018 op-ed Heard wrote for The Washington Post, where she called herself a domestic violence survivor. Depp has claimed that he was booted from the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' franchise because Heard's op-ed clearly implicated that he was the abuser. The article, however, did not mention Depp by name. The actor sued Heard for $50 million and she countersued him for $100 million, claiming Depp ran a smear campaign for years in an attempt to silence her and destroy her acting career.
Ater deliberating over three days, the jury has now ruled in a unanimous decision that Heard defamed Depp when she called herself a victim of domestic abuse. She has been ordered to pay $15 million in damages, including $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. The jury also awarded Heard compensatory damages of $2 million because she was defamed when Depp's lawyer Adam Waldman called her abuse allegations a hoax.
After the verdict, Heard's lawyers left the courthouse without making comments to the press. Depp's lawyers, however, were elated and celebrated the verdict. "Today's verdict confirms what we have said from the beginning, that the claims against Johnny Depp are defamatory and unsupported by any evidence," Camille Vasquez said. "We are grateful, so grateful to the jury for their careful deliberation, to the judge and the court staff who have devoted an enormous amount of time and resources towards this case."
Depp's other attorney Benjamin Chew also expressed his gratitude after the verdict. "Our judicial system is predicated on each person's right to have his or her case heard and we were honored, truly honored, to assist Mr. Depp in ensuring that his case was fairly considered throughout the trial," Chew said. "We are also most pleased that the trial has resonated for so many people in the public who value truth and justice. Now that the jury has reached its conclusive verdict, it's time to turn the page and look to the future."
Johnny Depp's lawyers speak after jury sides with Depp in defamation trial against Amber Heard:— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 1, 2022
"Today's verdict confirms what we have said from the beginning, that the claims against Johnny Depp are defamatory and unsupported by any evidence." https://t.co/Dzns9BhlN1 pic.twitter.com/DXZ0gDuWwf
While Heard's lawyers have not spoken up, the 'Aqauaman' actress posted a staement on social media, expressing her disappointment. "The disappointment I feel today is beyond words," Heard wrote in her statement. "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 continued. "It is a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke up could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women should be taken seriously."
Heard added, "I believe Johnny's attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech and ignore evidence that was so conclusive that we won in the U.K. I'm sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seemed to have lost a right I thought I had as an American — to speak freely and openly."