Jury Finds Amber Heard Defamed Johnny Depp in Trial

After weeks of testimony from many witnesses, the highly publicized defamation case against Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is now over.


After a six week trial, and just three days of deliberation the jury in defamation cases between Johnny Depp, Amber Heard and Depp ruled Heard had defamed Depp. Depp was awarded $15 million in damages. In Heard’s countersuit, Depp was found guilty of one of three charges, with Heard awarded $2 million dollars in compensatory damages.

In 2019, Depp brought a $50 Million defamation suit against Amber Heard, alleging that she had written a 2018 opinion piece for the Washington Post. Post, in which she referred to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse” but did not mention Depp by name, harmed his reputation and career. Heard countersued for $100 million after Depp’s lawyer called her allegations a “hoax.”

How did this happen?

Depp, Heard and others presented different versions of the alleged abuse throughout the trial. Depp claimed that Heard had left human feces under his mattress and tore his finger using a vodka-bottle. He then tried to justify audio recordings and texts detailing the abuses against Heard.

Heard claimed Depp had abused her in various ways during their relationship. Depp was allegedly abused by her during their relationship. Shearer Heard described an altercation where she struck Depp. It is claimed that it was to defend Whitney Henriquez who intervened in an argument. “I just, in my head, instantly think of Kate Moss and stairs, and I swung at him,” Heard said.

Moss testified later that Depp had never forced her down the steps. The trial also included testimonies from an array of witnesses that included the chief operating officer and general counsel of the ACLU, Terence Dougherty—who walked the jury through the organization’s involvement with Heard’s op-ed and detailed the timeline of Heard’s pledged donations to the organization—and the manager of Depp’s Bahamas Islands estate, who described arguments between the couple.

The case is Depp’s second defamation lawsuit involving his relationship with Heard. Depp won a case for libel against a U.K. tabloid in 2020. The Sun after he sued its publisher over a 2018 headline that referred to him as a “wife-beater.” After hearing from a range of witnesses, the presiding judge ruled that 12 of the 14 instances of abuse by Depp had occurred—and that The Sun’s article was “substantially true.”

The next step

Heard posted a statement shortly after the announcement of the verdict. “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.”

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