Depp sued Heard, his ex-wife, for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Though Depp was not named in the article, he claims it cost him lucrative acting roles. Heard countersued her ex-husband for defamation over statements Depp’s attorney made about her abuse claims.
The jury began deliberating on May 27 after hearing more than 100 hours of testimony from witnesses.
The jury found that Heard defamed Depp with in three separate statements in the Washington Post piece, and that Depp defamed Heard with one statement his attorney made.
Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million dollars in punitive damages. Heard was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages and no punitive damages. (Punitive damages in the state of Virginia are capped at $350,000, so the judge reduced Depp’s punitive damages award to that amount.)
Depp sought $50 million in damages and Heard sought $100 million.
Below, read their full reactions to the verdict.
Johnny Depp’s statement
“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.
False, very serious and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me. It had already traveled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career.
And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.
My decision to pursue this case, knowing very well the height of the legal hurdles that I would be facing and the inevitable, worldwide spectacle into my life, was only made after considerable thought.
From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. 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.
I am, and have been, overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and the colossal support and kindness from around the world. I hope that my quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my situation, and that those supporting them never give up. I also hope that the position will now return to innocent until proven guilty, both within the courts and in the media.
I wish to acknowledge the noble work of the Judge, the jurors, the court staff and the Sheriffs who have sacrificed their own time to get to this point, and to my diligent and unwavering legal team who did an extraordinary job in helping me to share the truth.
The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun.
Veritas numquam perit.
Truth never perishes.”
Amber Heard’s statement
“The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. 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 believe Johnny’s attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech and ignore evidence that was so conclusive that we won in the UK.
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.”