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Johnny Depp wins defamation case against Amber Heard, awarded $15M


The jury in the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard defamation trial found Depp proved his case that Heard defamed him in a 2018 op-ed. The video above includes the verdict being read out in court Wednesday. Depp was awarded $15 million in damages. Heard also received $2 million in damages for her countersuit against Depp. Both released statements on their social media accounts following the verdicts.

“Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also the lives of the people, who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed,” Depp posted to Instagram. “Six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.”

“The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” Heard posted to Twitter. “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.”

The seven-person civil jury deliberated for about 12 hours over three days. While Heard was in attendance for the verdicts, Depp was not in Virginia for the defamation case decision. He’s spent the last few days on stage, singing and playing guitar with Jeff Beck in the United Kingdom.

In the op-ed, Heard described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” Heard’s attorneys argued that she had told the truth and that her comments were covered as free speech under the First Amendment. Heard’s countersuit came after Depp’s lawyer called her allegations a hoax.

Testimony during the six-week trial included various details of their short and volatile marriage. They met in 2011 while filming “The Rum Diary” and wed in February 2015. Their divorce was finalized about two years later.

Heard testified that Depp physically or sexually assaulted her more than a dozen times. Depp said he never struck Heard, that she concocted the abuse allegations, and that she was the one who physically attacked him. Testimony was livestreamed widely on social media platforms, drawing large audiences.

During closing arguments, both sides told the jury that a verdict in their favor would give their clients their lives back. Depp said Heard’s allegations cost him “everything.” A new “Pirates” movie was put on hold and Depp was replaced in the “Fantastic Beasts” film franchise.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.