Why was Amber Heard awarded $2M in damages?
The verdict in the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is finally out, and the 58-year-old actor has won against his former wife and 36-year-old actress. Even though the majority of the Internet is brimming with joy, some users are curious about the compensatory $2 million in damages received by Heard.
The seven-person jury deliberated for 13 hours before finalizing the verdict, which was read in the Fairfax County Courthouse on Wednesday, June 1. Other than the ruling being in Depp's favor, the jury awarded him $15 million in damages. Furthermore, the jury decided that Heard would receive $2 million in damages from her countersuit against Depp.
For Heard’s counterclaim:— Ashe Short (@AsheSchow) June 1, 2022
-on claim people called accusations a hoax: Heard loses
-On claim that Depp’s employee claimed Heard messed up apartment: Heard wins
-On claim that her hoax was almost over: Heard loses
Heard gets $2 million in compensatory, $0 in punitive
Depp had sued Heard for $50 million after she wrote a 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post in which she claimed to be a victim of domestic violence. Though the article did not name Depp, the actor's lawsuit stated, "The op-ed depended on the central premise that Ms. Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Mr. Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her." Heard then countersued Depp for $100 million in relation to the three statements made by Depp's attorney Adam Waldman.
Why did Amber Heard receive compensatory damages?
In a 2020 Daily Mail article, Waldman said, "Amber Heard and her friends in the media used fake sexual violence allegations as both sword and shield, depending on their needs. They have selected some of her sexual violence hoax 'facts' as the sword, inflicting them on the public and Mr. Depp." The jury ruled that Heard had not proved all the elements of defamation for that statement. Another statement made by Waldman, "We've reached the beginning of the end of Ms. Heard's abuse hoax against Johnny Depp" was also ruled to not be defamatory.
Jury awards Heard $2 million compensatory, $0 punitive.— Samantha-Jo Roth (@SamanthaJoRoth) June 1, 2022
But, the jury found the third statement by Waldman to be defamatory. "Quite simply this was an ambush, a hoax. They set Mr. Depp up by calling the cops, but the first attempt didn't do the trick. The officers came to the penthouses, thoroughly searched and interviewed, and left after seeing no damage to face or property. So Amber and her friends spilled a little wine and roughed the place up, got their stories straight under the direction of a lawyer and publicist, and then placed a second call to 911," he said.
Since the jury ruled that the third statement was defamatory, Heard was awarded $2 million as compensatory damages even though she lost the defamation trial against Depp. The trial heard testimonies from people of all industries, including experts and psychologists, witnesses, industry insiders, and public figures such as supermodel Kate Moss. Both Depp and Heard issued public statements through their Instagram accounts after the verdict was read. Depp said he felt "humbled" while Heard said she was "heartbroken" by the verdict.