A US jury on Wednesday discovered Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamed one another, however sided much more strongly with the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star following an intense libel trial involving bitterly contested allegations of sexual violence and home abuse.
Depp, who misplaced a libel case in London in 2020 in opposition to The Solar for call ing him a “wife-beater,” celebrated the cut up verdict as a victory and stated the jury “gave me my life again.”
The five-man, two-woman jury, after deliberating over three days, discovered that Heard had defamed Depp in an op-ed piece, and awarded him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
On the identical time, the jury discovered that the 58-year-old Depp had made defamatory claims in opposition to the 36-year-old Heard and in addition awarded her compensatory damages — however a a lot decrease quantity of $2 million.
Heard, her eyes downcast all through, listened impassively, as the decision was learn out in Fairfax County Circuit Courtroom close to the US capital — later declaring herself “heartbroken” by the result.
“The frustration I really feel in the present day is past phrases,” she stated in a press release. “I am heartbroken that the mountain of proof nonetheless was not sufficient to face as much as the disproportionate energy, affect, and sway of my ex-husband.
“I am much more upset with what this verdict means for different ladies,” she stated. “It’s a setback. It units again the concept violence in opposition to ladies is to be taken significantly.”
Depp, who has been in England for the previous few days, was not in court docket for the decision within the high-profile trial that hinged on lurid claims and counterclaims of home abuse between the Hollywood celebrities.
However in a press release he welcomed the decision.
“The jury gave me my life again,” he stated. “From the very starting, the aim of bringing this case was to disclose the reality, whatever the consequence.
“The most effective is but to come back and a brand new chapter has lastly begun.”
Depp filed go well with in opposition to Heard over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Put up in December 2018 by which she described herself as a “public determine representing home abuse.”
The Texas-born Heard, who had a starring function in “Aquaman,” didn’t identify Depp within the piece, however he sued her for implying he was a home abuser and sought searching for $50 million in damages.
Heard countersued for $100 million, saying she was defamed by statements made by Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, who advised the Every day Mail her abuse claims had been a “hoax.”
Each wanted to show the statements had been defamatory, and to win compensatory or punitive damages, the jury wanted to search out they had been made with precise malice — with data that they had been false or with “reckless disregard” for whether or not they had been false or not.
Dozens of witnesses testified in the course of the trial, together with bodyguards, Hollywood executives, brokers, leisure trade specialists, medical doctors, pals and kinfolk.
Depp and Heard every spent days on the witness stand in the course of the televised trial, which was attended by a whole lot of followers of the “Pirates” star and accompanied by a #JusticeForJohnnyDepp marketing campaign on social media.
Video and audio recordings of heated, profanity-laced arguments between the couple had been performed for the jury, which was additionally proven images of accidents allegedly suffered by Heard throughout their unstable relationship.
Hours of testimony had been dedicated to a grisly finger damage that Depp suffered whereas filming an installment of “Pirates” in Australia in March 2015.
Depp, a three-time Oscar nominee, claimed the tip of a finger was severed when Heard threw a vodka bottle at him. Heard stated she didn’t know the way the damage occurred.
Each agreed that Depp went on to scrawl messages on partitions, lampshades and mirrors utilizing the bloody digit.
Heard stated Depp would change into a bodily and sexually abusive “monster” throughout alcohol- and drug-fueled binges and resisted her repeated efforts to curb his ingesting and drug use.
Depp testified that it was Heard who was ceaselessly violent and stated it has been “brutal” to take heed to “outlandish” accusations of home abuse made in opposition to him.
Heard, who was married to Depp from 2015 to 2017, obtained a restraining order in opposition to him in Might 2016, citing home violence.
Either side claimed injury to their Hollywood careers.
(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)