Virginia, June 2 (BUS) – Actor Johnny Depp has won more than $10 million in damages in a near-total victory in a defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard, concluding a six-week trial that includes video testimony about the stars’ strained relationship. .
A seven-person jury in Virginia also ruled Heard’s name in one counterclaim against Depp. The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star called the decision an acquittal, and his ex-wife said it was “disappointing”.
Jurors awarded Depp $15 million in damages from Heard, which the judge reduced to $10.35 million to comply with the state’s restrictions on punitive damages. The commission ordered Depp to pay $2 million in damages, according to Reuters.
Depp, 58, sued Heard for $50 million and said she tarnished his reputation when she called herself the “public figure who represents domestic violence” in a newspaper opinion piece.
Heard disputed the $100 million, saying Depp sullied it when his lawyer called it a “hoax.”
Depp denied hitting Heard, 36, or any woman, and said it was she who turned violent in their relationship.
He told jurors that the allegations of Heard, who is best known for her role in “Aquaman,” cost him “everything.” A new “Pirates” movie has been put on hold and Depp is replaced in the Fantastic Beasts movie series, a spin-off from “Harry Potter.”
“The jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled,” Depp, who witnessed Britain’s ruling, said in a statement.
“The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun,” he added, ending with the Latin phrase “Veritas Nomkwam Beret. The truth never dies.”
Heard was sitting in the courtroom between two of her attorneys, looking down while reading the sentences.
“The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” she said in a statement. “I am saddened that the mountain of evidence is still not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence and influence of my ex-husband.”
“I am even more disappointed by what this ruling means for other women,” she added. “It’s a setback.”
Depp faced a different outcome in Britain less than two years ago, when he sued the Sun newspaper for calling him a “wife beater”. A London High Court judge ruled that he repeatedly assaulted Heard.
The two met in 2011 while filming “The Rum Diary” and married in February 2015. Their divorce was finalized after about two years.
At the center of the legal case was a December 2018 opinion piece by Heard in the Washington Post. The article did not mention Depp by name but his attorney told jurors that Heard was clearly referring to him.
The jury agreed with all of Depp’s allegations of defamation, which cited a paragraph in the article and the headline saying: “I spoke out against sexual violence — and faced the wrath of our culture. That must change.”
The jury rejected two of Heard’s three counterclaims. They concluded that she had been defamed when Depp’s lawyer told the media that Heard had destroyed property to appear to police after an alleged altercation.
“Amber and her friends poured a little wine and roughed up the place, and received their stories directly under the supervision of a lawyer and publicist,” the statement said, in part.
Within six weeks of testimony, Heard’s lawyers argued that she told the truth and that her comments were covered as freedom of speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Jurors listened to recordings of the couple’s fights and viewed graphic images of Depp’s bloody finger. He said the top of a finger was cut off when Heard threw a bottle of vodka at him in 2015.
Heard denied injuring Depp’s finger and said Depp assaulted her that night with a bottle of alcohol. She said she only hit him to defend herself or her sister.
The testimony was widely broadcast live on social media, attracting a large audience to hear details about the couple’s turbulent relationship.