Johnny Depp was successful in his court case against Amber Heard for defamation and his ex-wife was ordered to pay him millions.
Johnny Depp was awarded $15 million in damages after successfully suing Amber Heard for defamation.
The jury reached a verdict on Thursday morning (AEST) in the high-profile defamation case between the Pirates of the Caribbean star and his ex-wife.
They also found Depp had defamed Heard, awarding her $2 million.
Breaking down the math of the damage
The jury ruled that Heard defamed Depp in all three of the actor’s claims. They awarded him $10 million in damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
Judge Penny Azcarate informed the court that state law limits punitive damages to $350,000, meaning Depp was awarded a total of $10.35 million.
The jurors also said Depp defamed Heard in just one of her three claims, awarding her $2 million in damages and no money in punitive damages.
Subtracting Heard’s award from Depp’s total, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star leaves the case with $8.35 million.
What the jury found
The seven-person Virginia jury had been deliberating for about 13 hours over three days in Fairfax County Circuit Court near the US capital.
Closing arguments in the case were held on Friday at the end of a six-week trial riding on claims and counterclaims of domestic abuse between the Hollywood celebrities.
The 58-year-old Depp filed suit against Heard over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
The Texas-born Heard, who had a starring role in Aquaman did not name Depp in the piece, but he sued her for implying he was a domestic abuser and was seeking $50 million in damages.
The 36-year-old Heard countersued for $100 million, saying she was defamed by statements made by Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, who told the Daily Mail her abuse claims were a “hoax.”
The jury had been working painstakingly through a special verdict form that contains dozens of questions.
The eight-page verdict form contained 24 questions relating to Depp’s suit against Heard and 18 questions relating to her countersuit against him.
Both needed to prove the statements were defamatory, and to win compensatory or punitive damages, the jury needed to find they were made with actual malice — with knowledge that they were false or with “reckless disregard” for whether they were false or not.
Where was Johnny Depp?
Depp flew to England over the Memorial Day weekend and made surprise appearances at concerts by Jeff Beck in Sheffield on Sunday and at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Monday and Tuesday.
Depp, a guitarist, has his own band, the Hollywood Vampires, with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry of Aerosmith.
“Your presence shows where your priorities are,” Heard’s spokesperson said in a statement.
“Johnny Depp plays guitar in the UK while Amber Heard waits for a verdict in Virginia. Depp is taking his snickering and lack of seriousness on tour.”
Dozens of witnesses testified during the trial, including bodyguards, Hollywood executives, agents, entertainment industry experts, doctors, friends and relatives.
Depp and Heard each spent days on the witness stand during the televised trial, which was attended by hundreds of fans of the “Pirates” star and accompanied by a #JusticeForJohnnyDepp campaign on social media.
Video and audio recordings of heated, profanity-laced arguments between the couple were played for the jury, which were also shown photographs of injuries allegedly suffered by Heard during their volatile relationship.
Hours of testimony were devoted to a grisly finger injury that Depp suffered while filming an installation of “Pirates” in Australia in March 2015.
Depp claimed the tip of a finger was severed when Heard threw a vodka bottle at him. Heard said she did not know how the injury occurred.
Both agreed that Depp went on to scrawl messages on walls, lampshades and mirrors using the bloody digit.
Heard said Depp would become a physically and sexually abusive “monster” during alcohol- and drug-fueled binges and resisted her repeated efforts to curb his drinking and drug use.
Depp testified that it was Heard who was frequently violent and said it has been “brutal” to listen to “outlandish” accusations of domestic abuse made against him.
“No human being is perfect, certainly not, none of us, but I have never in my life committed sexual battery, physical abuse,” he said.
Heard, who was married to Depp from 2015 to 2017, obtained a restraining order against him in May 2016, citing domestic violence.
Depp, a three-time Oscar nominee, filed a libel suit in London against the British tabloid The Sun for calling him a “wife-beater.” He lost that case in November 2020.
Both sides have claimed damage to their Hollywood careers.
— with AFP
Originally published as How much money did Johnny Depp win in Amber Heard trial?