A jury in Virginia on Wednesday ruled that Johnny Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard defamed him in her December 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post, which detailed accusations of domestic abuse. The seven-person jury also that Depp’s lawyer Heard, who was accused of creating a detailed hoax.
The case received national attention over allegations of domestic violence by both actors.
The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. The judge, however, capped the punitive damages total because of legal limits, which resulted in $10.3 million in total compensation.
During the trial, Depp testified it was “insane” to be the target of Heard’s “heinous accusations” of sexual violence.
“The jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled,” Depp said of the ruling.
The “Aquaman” actress also spoke about “what this verdict means for women,” calling it a “setback.” In the state of Virginia, she could appeal the decision.
“The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” said Heard, who received $2 million in compensatory damages.
Depp filed the $50 million libel suit in February 2019 over Heard’s Washington Post op-ed, which described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” Depp’s cool team said he was defamed, though the op-ed never mentioned his name.
Depp said Heard’s claims denied him career opportunities in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise.
In response to Depp’s defamation suit, Heard filed a countersuit for $100 million.
Depp was in the UK when the verdict was reached. In response to his non-attendance from him, Heard’s representatives called him out for his lack of seriousness.
Depp, 58, and Heard, 36, were briefly married. They began dating in 2011 and married in February 2015. They filed for divorce in May 2016.