Jury awards millions of dollars to Johnny Depp in libel suit; Amber Heard wins less in countersuit

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Jury awards millions of dollars to Johnny Depp in libel suit; Amber Heard wins less in countersuit

Jury awards millions of dollars to Johnny Depp in libel suit; Amber Heard wins less in countersuit

A jury found Amber Heard liable for a statement he made to the Daily Mail calling Amber’s claims a hoax, and Johnny Depp liable for defaming him in an op-ed published in the Washington Post. In total, the jury awarded Depp $15 million in damages, while Heard $2 million. 

johnny Depp was found to be entitled to $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, but the judge ruled that punitive damages were limited to $350,000 by state law, meaning his total award would total $10.35 million.

Jury awards millions of dollars to Johnny Depp in libel suit; Amber Heard wins less in countersuit

Heard said in an Instagram and Twitter post, “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words.” Depp said in an Instagram post, “the jury gave me my life back.”

Despite the dramatic trial that exposed the troubled marriage between the stars, the verdict marked the end of the civil suit.

According to his lawyers, despite the fact that his name was never mentioned in the article, Depp claims that she defamed him by writing an op-ed in the Washington Post in December 2018 describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”

Jury awards millions of dollars to Johnny Depp in libel suit; Amber Heard wins less in countersuit

Depp’s attorney defamed Heard by calling her abuse allegations a hoax, and she countersued for $100 million.

Earlier in the afternoon, the jury informed Judge Penney Azcarate they had arrived at a verdict, but the verdict was delayed so they could fill out the jury form with the amount of the monetary awards. 

Jessica Levinson, legal contributor for CBS News, said the jury’s mixed verdict indicates they considered each statement separately and the defamation claims carefully.

According to her, it wasn’t just a case of ‘we like Johnny Depp, we don’t like Amber Heard’, noting that Depp won on all three statements in his suit and Heard won on one of the statements in her counterclaim.

The jury found that both men lied at the end of the day, Levinson said.

johnny Depp said in his statement that he brought the case in order to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. Having finally achieved this goal, I feel at peace knowing I have finally done what I owe my children and to all those who have supported me through the years..”

Despite losing the case, Heard said she was “even more saddened that I seem to have lost the right I once thought I had as an American – to express myself freely and openly” She said the verdict sets back women and their treatment by the legal system.The jury began deliberations Friday afternoon, after six weeks of disturbing and sometimes graphic testimony. 

Both johnny Depp and Heard testified twice. The jury also heard extensive recordings attorneys said displayed violent behavior and saw text messages, including between Depp and fellow actor Paul Bettany, that discussed substance use and contained obscene language. 

Heard’s sister testified to seeing johnny Depp strike her, and a friend testified about seeing her cuts and bruises.

Supermodel Kate Moss also appeared via video link, adding to the spectacle as broadcast cameras in the courtroom captured every twist to an increasingly rapt audience as fans weighed in on social media and lined up overnight for coveted courtroom seats. 

Jury awards millions of dollars to Johnny Depp in libel suit; Amber Heard wins less in countersuit

Closing arguments were delivered Friday. By the time the court broke for lunch, jurors had head from attorneys for both johny Depp and Heard — who then had a combined 45 minutes to present rebuttal closings later Friday afternoon. The case went to the jury later in the day, for the final stage in what has been six weeks of courtroom drama that peeled back the curtain on the stars’ troubled marriage.

Jury awards millions of dollars to Johnny Depp in libel suit; Amber Heard wins less in countersuit

The jury was instructed to focus its deliberation not only on whether there was abuse but also whether Heard’s op-ed piece can be considered legally defamatory. The article itself focuses mostly on policy questions of domestic violence, but Depp’s lawyer point to two passages in the article, as well as an online headline that they say defamed Depp.

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