A Virginia jury awarded Johnny Depp $15 million in his defamation suit against Amber Heard on Wednesday, ruling in his favor on all three claims that he was defamed when Heard wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post in which she called herself a domestic abuse survivor. He was also mostly vindicated of allegations that he defamed Heard by calling her accusations a hoax.
Heard was handed a near complete loss in the case revolving around dueling defamation claims from her and Depp, prevailing on only one of her claims in a widely broadcast trial that came to symbolize the shortcomings of the #MeToo movement. Heard, who divorced Depp in 2016 after obtaining a domestic violence restraining order, has been dragged through two trails across two continents to substantiate allegations that Depp abused her.
A jury of six men and three women took nearly 13 hours over three days of deliberations to reach the verdict, absolving Depp of claims that he smeared Heard by claiming that she lied about being abused. Jurors concluded that Heard acted with the level of malice or recklessness necessary to meet the high standard for public figures to allege defamation.
Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
While Heard lost on two of her three claims, she won on one claim that a statement from Depp's lawyer was defamatory. In the statement, he said that Heard set up an "ambush, a hoax," referencing a visit from law enforcement to the couple's house allegedly initiated by Heard. She was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages but none in punitive damages
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Statement from Johnny Depp: