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Fact Check: Was the Johnny Depp verdict overturned? Viral videos debunked 

YouTube videos claim Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial verdict to be overturned (Image via Getty Images)
YouTube videos claim Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial verdict to be overturned (Image via Getty Images)
Karishma Rao

The sensationalized defamation trial of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp ended on June 1, with the latter winning the legal battle. Since the verdict was announced, videos claiming the same was overturned have surfaced online. However, rumors of the change in verdict are untrue.

The seven-member panel unanimously voted in favor of Johnny Depp. He was rewarded with ten million dollars in compensatory damages and five million in punitive damages. Amber Heard is to be given two million dollars in compensatory damages as well.

On June 3, several videos on YouTube claiming that the verdict for the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard case has been overturned appeared on the platform. Comments under the videos had been turned off, and the video consisted of clips from older interviews of the Pirates of the Caribbean actor.

The videos only gave the headline of the verdict being overturned. No additional information regarding the same was provided. Many believed that the news was accurate, and these videos had amassed over a million views. However, these videos are entirely doctored.

As mentioned prior, the jury’s verdict has not been overturned. However, Heard’s legal team has announced that they will be appealing to the court. This would mean that a higher court would be asked to look into the case to ensure that the decision was made fairly.

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As depicted in the doctored Johnny Depp-Amber Heard videos, can jury verdicts be overturned?

A court jury holds power to make absolute determinations. However, there are certain instances where their decision can be investigated. This would include questioning the panel on how they arrived at a conclusion or whether the final verdict was decided logically.

A jury’s decision can be overturned if a compromise verdict occurs. In the same, jurors must have negotiated amongst themselves to make their resolution. However, this is considered to be problematic as a case requires a verdict to be made purely on evidence and not any form of negotiation.

Amongst a panel of jurors, they might feel it is becoming tedious to make the ultimate decision. If one or more jurors make it challenging to come to a unanimous verdict, they are given a sum of money to compromise. This can also be used as a reason for the case to be overturned.

It took Amber Heard 1 day to ruin a man's life.It took Johnny Depp 6 years, millions of dollars, witnesses and audio recordings to get that back.Yet she is still making this all about herself.#AbuseHasNoGender #AmberTurdIsAnAbuser #JohnnyDeppGotJustice

A jury’s verdict can also be overturned if it does not make logical sense. This is considered to be an inconsistent verdict. Such cases can occur if the panel members do not understand the instructions or choose not to obey them.

The verdict can also be challenged if it is legally inadequate. When a defendant is not given sufficient awards for damages, they can argue that the verdict is inadequate.

I have to say Johnny Depp's team ending his testimony with the audio of Amber saying "...tell them, I, Johnny Depp, a man, am a victim of domestic violence...and see how many people believe or side with you," was probably one of the most powerful moments thus far

Amber Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft told NBC Today that she “absolutely” intends to appeal. Bredehoft said:

“She has some excellent grounds for it. There was so much evidence that did not come in.”

The attorney referred to the libel case Johnny Depp lost in the UK two years ago over domestic violence allegations, which claimed that he had physically assaulted Heard.

Jeff Lewis, a defamation lawyer in Los Angeles, has stated that it is difficult for an appeal to result in changes. He has argued that over 70 to 90 percent of the time, the judgment does not alter.


Edited by Sayati Das

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