The Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation trial, having commenced on April 11, 2022, at Virginia's Fairfax County Courthouse, lasted almost seven weeks. The trial featured plenty of witnesses, arguments, allegations, and counter-allegations, which meant that there were many twists and turns along the way. Some light-hearted funny moments provided some necessary relief from the tense atmosphere, though temporary.
The trial attracted millions of viewers, many of whom watched the court proceedings every single day the court was in session. The verdict of Johnny Depp's defamation case against ex-spouse Amber Heard was announced on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, sometime after 3 PM EST. In Judge Penney Azcarate's presence, the final ruling of the jury found both Depp and Heard liable for defaming each other on different counts.
We have explained the jurors' judgment in detail below, pertaining to Depp's defamation suit and Heard's countersuit.
Johnny Depp wins the defamation case as the seven-member jury sides with him unanimously
To bring the unacquainted up to date, Johnny Depp filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard in February 2019, in response to the Aquaman actor's op-ed in The Washington Post that was published in 2018.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star can finally breathe a sigh of relief as the jurors unanimously sided with him in his defamation lawsuit. On the third day of jury deliberations (excluding Memorial Day weekend), the jury favored the Fantastic Beasts actor on all three counts that Depp's legal team alleged in the final ruling.
Thus, Amber Heard was found liable for defaming Johnny Depp, and as per the verdict, he was awarded $10 million as compensatory damages. Heard was to pay another $5 million as punitive damages to Depp, which was later snipped to $350,000 as per Virginia's laws.
After the verdict, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor released an official statement about how the jury gave him his life back. He also hailed the noble work done by the officials involved in the case,
"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."
Depp was also found liable for defaming Heard on one of the three counts
On the other hand, Heard's countersuit received favor from the jury on one of the three counts alleged by the Pineapple Express actor. The jurors awarded Heard $2 million as compensatory damages, as per the verdict. Unlike Johnny Depp, she did not receive any punitive damages.
Interestingly, Amber Heard's $100 million countersuit was based on allegations against Johnny Depp for orchestrating a smear campaign against her. However, only the statements made by Adam Waldman, Depp's former attorney, were found to be defamatory against Heard by the jury.
Disheartened by the decision, the 36-year-old actor shared her official statement via her social media accounts. She said:
"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."
As mentioned earlier, the Depp vs. Heard courtroom saga spanned over seven weeks and engaged millions of viewers each day around the globe.