Update: Johnny Depp has won the defamation trial against Amber Heard, though Heard also found to be defamed.
The jury found that Amber Heard did act with intentional malice in her 2018 op-ed published in the Washington Post where she defamed Depp and accused him of sexual and domestic abuse.
The jury awarded Depp a total of $15 million in damages, including $5 million in punitive damages.
However, the jury also found that Amber Heard was defamed in certain instances.
Heard will be awarded $2 million in damages.
New York Daily News
A verdict has been reached in the long-drawn Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial.
The highly anticipated decision is expected to be announced Wednesday at 3 p.m. EDT at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Virginia after the seven-person jury’s third day of deliberations.
Depp, 58, sued Heard, 36, for $50 million, claiming he was defamed by a 2018 op-ed published by the Washington Post in which Heard described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Heard didn’t name Depp in the piece but had previously accused the actor of domestic violence, which he denies.
Heard filed a $100 million counterclaim after an attorney for Depp described her abuse allegations as a hoax.
The six-week defamation trial began in April, with Depp contending during his initial testimony that he never struck Heard while accusing her of often becoming physically violent toward him.
He claimed to suffer a severed middle finger after Heard hurled a vodka bottle at him in Australia in 2015.
Heard testified in May that she never assaulted Depp and accused him of repeatedly abusing her, including claiming he sexually assaulted her using a liquor bottle in Australia. She claimed Depp suffered his finger injury by smashing a telephone, and later accused Depp of “lying” throughout the trial.
Both Depp and Heard returned to the witness stand during the trial’s final week. Depp claimed toward the end of his testimony that Heard’s allegations are “all false.”
“It’s insane to hear heinous accusations of violence, sexual violence, that she’s attributed to me, that she’s accused me of,” Depp said on May 25.
Heard testified the next day, detailing how she’s suffered from the public attention on the trial before saying she just wants Depp to “leave me alone.”
“I receive hundreds of death threats regularly, if not daily,” Heard said. “Thousands since this trial has started. People mocking my testimony about being assaulted. It’s been agonizing. Agonizing, painful and the most humiliating thing I’ve ever had to go through. I hope no one ever has to go through something like this.”
The trial’s final week also saw a brief testimony from supermodel Kate Moss, whom Depp dated during the 1990s. Depp’s lawyers called her to the stand after Heard referenced hearing a rumor that Depp once pushed Moss down a flight of stairs.
Moss said via video link that Depp “never pushed me, kicked me or threw me down any stairs,” and claimed the actor came to her aid after she fell down a flight of stairs on a rainy day in Jamaica.
Closing arguments took place Friday, with the jury deliberating for two hours that day before being sent home for the long Memorial Day weekend.
The trial took place in Virginia because the Washington Post has servers there.
Heard and Depp met while making the 2011 movie “The Rum Diary” and married in 2015. Heard filed for divorce in May 2016 and was granted a temporary restraining order after accusing Depp of domestic abuse.
Depp previously lost a libel lawsuit against the publisher of British tabloid The Sun over an article that painted him as a “wife beater.” A High Court judge ruled in November 2020 that the claims were “substantially true,” and Depp was denied the chance to appeal the decision.