Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have both issued statements in reaction to the verdict in their dueling defamation cases. After six grueling weeks of testimony, cross-examination, and scandalous allegations levied by both sides, a jury found Heard guilty of defamation against her ex-husband, Depp.
“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 year later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled,” Depp said in a statement reacting to the jury’s decision.
“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,” Depp added.
“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.”
“The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun,” Depp wrote to conclude his statement, which he footnoted by quoting “Truth never perishes” in Latin.
In her own statement, Heard said the jury’s decision “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,” Heard added. “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.”
Depp filed a $50 million lawsuit in response to his ex-wife’s 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post titled “Amber Heard: I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.” The 58-year-old actor claimed that the article took aim at his reputation, even though Heard never mentioned him explicitly by name. Heard countersued Depp for $100 million, claiming that Depp’s lawyer had defamed her by telling the press that her allegations were false.
The jury ultimately sided with Depp, awarding him $10 million in compensatory damages and an additional $5 million in punitive damages. (Because punitive damages in Virginia are capped at $350,000, Depp will walk away with a total of $10.35 million.)
The jury also weighed in on Heard’s $100 million countersuit, determining that Depp’s attorney had defamed her when he said Heard and her friends had “set” the actor up with “an ambush, a hoax” during an argument in 2016. The jury granted Heard $2 million total, all for compensatory damages, with no punitive damages assessed.
— Amber Heard (@realamberheard) June 1, 2022