It’s been a long and drawn out legal battle, but the defamation case between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is finally coming to a close. This case has been making headlines for months now, with both sides accusing the other of lying. So, what exactly happened? And who is winning? Let’s take a closer look at the defamation case between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.
The couple split in 2016. They battled in court over an op-ed Heard wrote for The Washington Post in 2018, in which she described surviving domestic violence — without mentioning Depp by name.
Depp sued for $50 million in damages. Heard countersued for $100,000.
The trial began in Virginia on Tuesday. Depp’s lawyers are trying to prove that Heard defamed him when she wrote the op-ed. They say that Heard lied about being a domestic violence victim and that she assaulted Depp during their marriage.
Heard’s lawyers say that Depp is the one who lied — about his drug use and about what happened during incidents of domestic violence.
So far, the trial has been full of shocking revelations from both sides. We’ve heard from witnesses, including security guards and members of both Depp and Heard’s families. And we’ve seen text messages and photos that appear to show bruises on Heard’s face after alleged assaults by Depp.
The jury unanimously found that Heard could not substantiate her allegations against Depp and that she knew her claims of abuse were false when she published her 2018 essay. The jury determined that Heard acted with actual malice when writing her op-ed.
The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages in his defamation suit.
Heard had countersued for $100 million and said she was only ever violent with Depp in self-defense or defense of her younger sister. Heard’s countersuit centered around three statements made by Depp’s former attorney Adam Waldman in 2020 to the Daily Mail, in which he described Heard’s allegations of abuse as a “hoax.”
The jury found that Depp, through Waldman, defamed Heard on one count. The jury awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages, but $0 in punitive damages.
The jury determined that Heard acted with actual malice when writing her op-ed. The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages in his defamation suit.
Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Penney Azcarate reduced the punitive damages the jury awarded to Depp to $350,000, which is the state’s statutory cap or legal limit, making his total damages $10.4 million.