Johnny Depp’s Defamation Trial Against Amber Heard Is Finally Over, And The Jury Has Ruled In Favor Of Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp can take a bow and wave goodbye to the state of Virginia, because he no longer has to be there anymore. The longest, messiest celebrity trial in recent memory (listen, I spent my formative years next to a nuclear plant, I have a very short memory) is finally over. I pray that we’ll finally be able to put the image of a 400-threadcount-wrapped dookie behind us. For now, what we have is the jury in Johnny Depp’s multi-million dollar defamation trial against Amber Heard finally reaching a verdict, and they have decided that Johnny Depp was the victim of defamation.
As all of us already know – hell, even our technology-averse grannies are probably fully caught up to speed – Johnny Depp decided to sue his ex-wife for defamation to the tune of $50 million back in 2019, after Amber published an op-ed in The Washington Post, in which she wrote about being the victim of domestic violence. Amber never mentioned Johnny by name, but the implication was there, and it was enough for Johnny to call up his poor, overworked lawyers. Amber decided to counter-sue Johnny, saying that he decided to fuck with her reputation and career prospects, by painting her domestic violence allegations as a shameless attention-seeking hoax. During the trial, Johnny sort of seemed to admit that he cut his own finger during a violent altercation with Amber in Australia. There was video evidence of Johnny destroying a kitchen while hammered on red wine. There was also Amber’s side of things, like her testimony that her role in Aquaman 2 was reduced because of an online smear campaign that she believes was orchestrated by Johnny himself. And then there was the poo, that mysterious poo, whether it be doggy or human in origin, we’ll hopefully never know.
All those domestic violence allegations spawned a very messy trial in the UK, with Johnny suing The Sun for libel, after they referred to him as a “wife beater.” Johnny lost that one, but he’s clearly got better luck this time around. TMZ was reporting earlier today that the jury had finally reached a verdict in this trial. TMZ says that after the jury returned with their verdict, it was implied that defamation was found, but it wasn’t known for whom. So the jury was sent back to determine damages. According to the jury, it’s Johnny who will be stuffing his pockets with the most damages, although Amber will get a little something too. via TMZ:
The jury just found unanimously in favor of Johnny Depp, that Amber Heard calling him a sexual abuser was defamation. The jury further found Heard’s accusations in the Washington Post was malicious.
TMZ broke down the damages that were awarded in court today. They say that the jury awarded Johnny $10 million in compensatory damages, and an additional $5 million in punitive damages. Virginia law caps the amount of punitive damages at $350,000, so Amber won’t be required to pay the full $5 million. All in all, Amber will be required to pay Johnny $8,350,000.
Amber did have one win, though. The jury ruled against Johnny on one count in Amber’s countersuit. The jury awarded her $2 million in compensatory damages and $0 in punitive damages. Amber released this statement about the jury’s verdict:
“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.
I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously.
I believe Johnny’s attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech and ignore evidence that was so conclusive that we won in the UK.
I’m sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American — to speak freely and openly.”
It should be interesting to see who pays what. During the trial, the ACLU popped in to accuse Amber of failing to pony up all the divorce settlement cash she promised to donate after splitting from Johnny. Amber claimed she hadn’t paid them because she was having financial difficulties. And Johnny has previously claimed that he’s currently broke, thanks to some alleged money mismanagement. I hope everyone will be happy to settle with a can of Sprite and a snack size baggie of Wheat Thins (or whatever can be knocked out of the courthouse vending machine with a hard enough shove).
Many of Johnny’s fans will be crying tears of joy today, because they rode hard for Captain Jack Sparrow through all of this. Sadly for them, they didn’t get to see Johnny bust out a surly victory dance, because Johnny wasn’t present in court to hear the verdict read out loud. Which is good news for anyone with a sensitivity to guys who look like they smell like an estate sale. Johnny is currently in London, England to perform with his good friend Jeff Beck. According to People magazine, the two performed on Sunday night at Sheffield City Hall (no relation to Mr. Sheffield from The Nanny, I’m sure), and at Royal Albert Hall on Monday and Tuesday night. And according to People, Johnny was surprised by an old friend at the Tuesday night show: former girlfriend Kate Moss, who testified in support of Johnny during the trial. That’s nice. I hope Johnny comped her ticket to the show as a thank you for her testimony. And I kind of hope Kate Moss looked at him and said, “Is that it? A free ticket to watch you noodle about on the guitar after you won your trial? I put on a suit and learned how to use Zoom! Honestly, if this is the thanks I get, then next time you can call Winona.”