Entertainment

Johnny Depp wins defamation case against Amber Heard

A Virginia jury decided primarily in favor of actor Johnny Depp on Wednesday, finding that a Washington Post editorial written by his ex-wife Amber Heard was defamatory.

Jurors awarded Depp $15 million in total damages, but Judge Penney Azcarate capped the total at around $10 million in accordance with state limits. Heard will have to pay a total of $10.35M. Moments later, the panel delivered a mixed verdict in Heard’s countersuit, awarding her $2 million in compensatory damages for one of three statements made by an attorney for Depp, which she said were defamatory.

“It is a strange result,” lawyer and legal analyst Emily D. Baker tells PEOPLE. “Johnny Depp won all three of his defamation claims, and Amber Heard won one of her counterclaims.”

Family law attorney and former psychologist David Glass also feels it was “a very unexpected result,” adding that it’s “relatively rare” for both parties to simultaneously have wins and losses in a case like this.

“It means that the jury found that each of them were telling the truth enough to get their verdict,” he tells PEOPLE. “But it’s clearly in favor of Johnny Depp because the jury just did not believe anything that Amber Heard had said — other than her expert saying that her career was slightly damaged.”

Heard looked somber and gazed down as the verdict was read. “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” she said in a statement. “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.”

Depp sued Heard, 36, for $50 million in damages, claiming she defamed him by writing a 2018 op-ed about coming forward with domestic abuse accusations, though she did not mention him by name. Meanwhile, Heard filed a countersuit seeking $100 million in damages, claiming Depp spearheaded a campaign to discredit her and her allegations as “fake” and a “hoax,” harming her career and reputation.

Depp, who was in the UK when the verdict came down, said in a statement: “The jury gave me my life back.”

“I hope that my quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my situation, and that those supporting them never give up,” he said.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CNBC

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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