Actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard started dating in early 2012. They were married in Los Angeles in a very private ceremony in February 2015. Heard filed for divorce on May 23, 2016 and, four days later, obtained a restraining order against Depp. She accused Depp of physical abuse, alleging that Depp had been abusive verbally and physically throughout their relationship while under the influence of drugs. However, Depp denied these accusations and said Heard was “attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse.” Images of Heard’s alleged injuries were publicized by the media. The divorce was finalized in January 2017. Depp paid Heard a settlement of $7 million, which she pledged to donate to charity.
In December 2018, Heard wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post, titled: “Amber Heard: I spoke up against sexual violence and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.” Heard in her article stated: “Two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.” The article, however, didn’t specify Depp’s name.
In February 2019, Depp sued Heard for $50 million over her op-ed in The Washington Post. Even though, Depp’s name was not in the article, his legal team insisted that the article was all about him.
Depp sued News Group Newspapers, the publisher of the Sun, over an April 2018 article in which he was called a “wife beater.” The trial began in early July 2020 and lasted for about three weeks. Three months after the trial, Judge Mr. Justice Nicol ruled that the Sun, was correct in reporting that Depp was violent towards his ex-wife. The court of appeal denied Depp’s application to appeal on Justice Nicol’s ruling, saying that the original hearing “was full and fair”.
In October 2020, Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, was disqualified from representing Depp due to him leaking a confidential information. On November 6, Depp announced that he had been asked to resign from his role in the upcoming “Fantastic Beasts” film.
Depp and Heard’s lawsuit began on April 11, 2022 at the Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia. Opening statements were made on April 12, 2022 by Depp and Heard’s lawyers, Camille Vasquez and J. Benjamin Rottenborn respectively. Heard’s legal team maintained that Depp abused Heard and that the op-ed was not libelous as it did not mention Depp’s name. On the other hand, Depp’s legal team maintained that Heard was the abuser and that Heard’s allegations were untrue. The allegations damaged his reputation and ruined his life.
Jury deliberations started on May 27 and ended on June 1. The verdict is as follows:
– Heard’s 2018 op-ed was false and defamed Depp in three separate statements.
– Depp was awarded $10 million for compensatory damages and $5 million for punitive damages.
– Depp was found liable on one count of defamation.
– Heard was awarded $2 million for compensatory damages.
A delighted Johnny Depp welcomed the verdict, saying “the jury gave me my life back”, while a disappointed Heard described the verdict as a “setback” for women. However, a spokeswoman for Heard plans to appeal, as reported in the New York Times.
The legal struggle between Johnny Depp, the main actor in the movie “The Pirates of the Carribean” and Amber Heard, his ex-wife has ended. After a long time of debate over the issue, Johnny won the case and was awarded a total of $15 million.
This article provides a clear and concise description of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s $50 million defamation claim, which has been pending in Virginia for the past few weeks.