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Four days after closing arguments were presented to the jury in the lengthy Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation trial, the verdict is finally in.
The verdict is set to be announced at 3 pm ET. Global News is streaming the decision live in the video above.
Depp, who is out touring, will not be present in the courtroom for the verdict. Heard is expected to be there.
The trial, which took place over six weeks, saw the actors and ex-spouses competing through their legal teams to paint the other as an aggressive abuser in their relationship, all while maintaining they were the real victim.
Depp, 58, sued Heard, 36, for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Johnny Depp, Amber Heard fates now lie in hands of the jury as deliberations begin
Even though Heard never named Depp in the article, his lawyers still claimed it had devastating effects on his career, reputation and personal life.
“Your presence shows where your priorities are,” said a spokesperson for Heard. “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.”
In their closing statements on May 27, both teams pressed the jury to find a verdict in their favour.
Team Depp insisted Heard lied both in public and in her testimony, claiming she created a false narrative that made Depp look like an alcoholic, drug-addicted “monster.” In his testimony, Depp said he had never had any substance abuse issues (with the exception of Roxicodone, which he claims he is no longer addicted to).
He claimed throughout that he has never hit a woman in his life.
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During the trial, jurors heard several graphic descriptions of alleged assault from both parties, including a now-infamous claim from Depp that Heard severed the tip of his finger with a glass bottle.
Heard’s version of the story held that while she could not say for certain how Depp lost the digit, she was a victim of numerous assaults at his hand, including an alleged sexual assault.
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Depp’s lawyers claimed Heard’s accounts of violent physical, sexual, psychological and emotional abuse were all fictitious and for personal financial and career gain.
Camille Vasquez, a lawyer for Depp, told the jury in their closing statements that Heard did not just want a divorce from Depp in 2016, she wanted to ruin him.
Depp’s lawyer says he was ‘real victim of domestic abuse’ in closing arguments
Another Depp lawyer, Benjamin Chew, told the jury before deliberation that Depp “did not and does not deserve to have his life, his legacy, destroyed by some lie.”
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Alternatively, Heard’s lawyers insisted Depp filed this lawsuit as part of a “smear campaign” to ruin Heard’s reputation and career while disputing her claims of domestic violence against him.
Heard’s lawyers refute Depp’s claims she perpetrated a hoax: ‘what would Amber Heard’s motive be?’
They insisted the Washington Post article was “not a hit piece on Johnny Depp,” also calling the actions of his team “disgusting” and “victim blaming.”
“Mr. Depp can simply not prove to you that he never abused Amber,” Heard’s lawyers told the jury.
Both Depp and Heard testified numerous times throughout the trial. The actors separately insisted the legal process has been emotional and embarrassing to undergo on such a public level.
Depp originally sued Heard for USD$50 million in damages. Heard countersued her ex for $100 million.
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