Johnny Depp’s lawyer has said that the jury’s verdict ‘confirms what we have said from the beginning’ – insisting that the allegations he abused ex-wife Amber Heard were without evidence and defamatory.
Speaking outside the court in Fairfax, Virginia, a jubilant Camille Vasquez praised the five men and two women of the jury for their decision, reached at the end of a six week trial and after 12 hours of deliberations.
They found overwhelmingly in the 58-year-old Depp’s favor, and decided that Heard, 36, had defamed him with her 2018 Washington Post op ed.
The jury awarded him $15 million in damages, and her $2 million for one part of her counter-claim.
‘Today’s verdict confirms what we have said from the beginning – that the claims against Johnny Depp are defamatory and unsupported by any evidence,’ said Vasquez.
‘We are grateful, so grateful to the jury for their careful deliberation.’
Depp’s lead attorneys Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew are seen outside of the courtroom after Depp’s victory
Throngs of reporters and fans are seen crowding around Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew as they speak outside the courthouse after the verdict
Vasquez and Chew hug after the jury in Virginia delivered their verdict on Wednesday
Depp was not in court for the verdict, having traveled to England to perform with his band.
Heard struggled to keep her composure, but was calm. Immediately after she issued a statement, saying she was ‘heartbroken’ and describing it as a setback for free speech and for women.
‘The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,’ she said.
‘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.
‘I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated.
‘It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously.
‘I’m sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American – to speak freely and openly.’
The blockbuster defamation trial between feuding exes Johnny Depp and Amber Heard captivated the nation after it kicked off in April
Over six weeks at the court in Fairfax, Virginia, Depp called 38 witnesses while Heard called 24. Depp and Heard met on the set of the 2011 movie The Rum Diary, turning up on the red carpet together for its London premiere in 2011
Vasquez fiercely cross-examined Heard, 36, earlier this week and in one memorable exchange forced the Aquaman actress to admit she had not donated her $7million divorce settlement to charity as she had pledged
Vasquez and Depp’s seemingly close relationship has also sparked feverish speculation online that the two are dating – which is not the case. The pair are pictured on May 19
Body language experts claimed the pair’s’ ‘flirtatious’ behavior might just be a tactic to try and boost the actor’s case, but fans speculate a more romantic connection
The ‘intense’ chemistry and and touchy-feely relationship between Johnny Depp and Camille Vasquez added a frisson of sexual tension to the bitter trial
Depp pats attorney Camille Vasquez on the back in the courtroom on May 17
Depp, meanwhile, thanked the jury for their verdict, which ‘gave me my life back.’
‘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. All in the blink of an eye,’ he wrote.
Depp said he was faced with an ‘endless barrage of hateful content.’
‘From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome,’ Depp continued in his statement.
‘Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me. I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that.’
He went on to say that he hopes his ‘quest to have truth’ has helped others who have found themselves in his ‘situation’ to never give up.
Heard could still choose to lodge an appeal against the decision, but legal analysts believe it is unlikely to be effective, unless new evidence emerges.