Johnny Depp has won his defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard, the jury has decided. After a six-week trial in which the darkest moments of the former couple’s marriage were played out to the world, the court reached a verdict that said Amber was responsible for losing Johnny millions of dollars in earnings with an op-ed she wrote.
Johnny has been awarded $10million in compensation, and $5million in punitive damages, after the jury deliberated for three days.
Amber, who will have a chance to appeal the verdict, won $2million back in compensatory damages after winning one of her claims in the countersuit, but $0 in punitive damages.
Johnny sued Amber over a 2018 article in the Washington post, in which she claimed to have become a figure representing domestic abuse, after filing a restraining order against the Pirates of the Caribbean actor.
She didn’t name Johnny, but he says he was the implied abuser and that it cost him acting jobs including his famous role of Captain Jack Sparrow.
Following the verdict, a statement from Amber’s representatives read: “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. 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. 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 sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously.
“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 UK.”
She concluded: “I’m sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American – to speak freely and openly.”
Johnny was not in court today, as he has been joining Jeff Beck on tour, performing on stage in a show that was attended last night by his ex-girlfriend Kate Moss, who also testified during the case.
Photos emerged of him at a pub in Newcastle moments before the verdict was read out.
Amber looked tearful and hugged her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft as the court case ended, while Johnny’s lawyers all hugged one another in celebration.
In a statement, issued through his spokesperson, Johnny said: “Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also, the lives of the people who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed.
“All in the blink of an eye.
“False, very serious and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me.
“It had already travelled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career.
“And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.”
Johnny went on to say his decision to pursue the case “was only made after considerable thought” and his goal was to “reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome”.
“Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me. I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that,” the actor said.
He said he had been “overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and the colossal support and kindness from around the world”.