Welp, Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against Amber Heard is finally over, and the Blow actor has emerged victorious.
According to Deadline, a Virginia jury ruled that Heard defamed Depp in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed piece in which she characterized as the “public face of domestic abuse.” The piece was published more than two years after Heard accused Depp of being physically abusive towards her during their marriage. She also got a restraining order, and Depp claimed the whole ordeal had been detrimental to his film career.
While Depp won his case, he wasn’t awarded anywhere near the amount of money he was seeking.
Depp was seeking $50 million in damages, but the jury has awarded him $15 million — $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. However, Judge Penney Azcarate quickly reduced the punitive damages figure to $350,000, the maximum allowed in the state, which makes Depp’s total haul around $10.4 million.
Not only that, but the jury also ruled in favor of one of Heard’s claims against Depp’s attorney Adam Waldman, who said in an interview that the Aquaman actress and her friends “set” the Depp up with “an ambush, a hoax” in 2016, on a night the former couple had been arguing. For that, the jury awarded heard $2 million in compensatory damages.
Still, Depp and his team are claiming it as a win.
“The jury gave me my life back,” said Depp, who wasn’t in court for the verdict as he is currently in the UK. “I am truly humbled.”
“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, one of Depp’s attorneys, said to reporters after the trial.
Meanwhile, Heard put out her own statement saying, “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.”
Of course, the court of public opinion has swayed overwhelmingly in Depp’s favor since the start of the trial, and that didn’t change once the verdict was in.
It’s hard to say what this trial will mean for domestic violence victims past, present and future, but it’s being celebrated as a win for survivors and for men that have been falsely accused. All we can say for sure is that the trial has been quite the public spectacle and celebrity drama.
Some of us are just glad it’s over.