The jury in the Depp-Heard defamation trial unanimously ruled in favour of Johnny Depp finding that the editorial written and published by Amber Heard in the Washington Post in 2018 defamed her former husband. What Heard wrote centred on domestic abuse and the jury had to decide on whether during their 15-month marriage Depp was abusive to Heard or vice versa.
The jury’s verdict means that they did not, for the vast majority of claims, believe Heard. Depp was awarded US$10m in compensatory damages and US$5m in punitive damages. Heard was awarded US$2m instead of the $100m originally sought through her counterclaim because Depp’s former attorney Adam Waldman had defamed her.
Lawyers for Depp said: “that the claims against Johnny Depp were defamatory and unsupported by any evidence”. A Depp press agent called her allegations “an abuse hoax” aimed at capitalising on the #MeToo movement.
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,Amber Heard
I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It’s a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously,Johnny Depp
Heard’s tweet ignores the fact:
- The trial was at all times conducted according to law.
- The trial lasted six weeks.
- The parties were represented equally by experienced lawyers.
- During those six weeks a “mountain of evidence” was presented and cross examined by the lawyers for both sides.
- The jury deliberated on the “mountain of evidence” for close to 13 hours.
- They waded through more than 100 hours of testimony, often emotional and considered documentary evidence in the form of photographs, audio and video recordings.
- The jury’s verdict was unanimous.
The jury found that Heard defamed Depp with a verdict having nothing to do with the rights of women. Depp was not present in court to hear the verdict but instead issued a statement signed
“Veritas numquam perit” – Truth never perishes.