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Depp wins libel lawsuit against ex-wife Heard

Depp Heard Lawsuit
Posted at 12:44 PM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 19:39:28-04

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP)  — A jury has ruled in favor of Johnny Depp in his libel lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard, vindicating his stance that Heard fabricated claims that she was abused by him before and during their brief marriage.

The jury awarded Depp $15 million in damages, and Heard was awarded $2 million in her countersuit.

Jurors also found in favor of Heard, who said she was defamed by Depp’s lawyer when he called her abuse allegations a hoax.

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After the verdict was read, Heard released a statement on social media, that read that she was "heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still wasn't enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband."

Depp, who wasn't in the courtroom due to prior commitments in the U.K., issued a statement, saying that "the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled."

"From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome," Depp said. "Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me. I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that."

Depp hopes the win will help restore his reputation after being dropped from "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Fantastic Beasts."

The proceedings on Wednesday were delayed a bit after the judge noticed the jury forgot to fill out the forms of what the damages would be.

The seven-person civil jury came to a unanimous decision to reach a verdict.

Depp accused Heard of libeling him with a 2018 op-ed she wrote describing herself as "a public figure representing domestic abuse."

Testimony during the six-week trial had focused on the alleged abuse Heard suffered from.

Debate on social media focused on whether Heard lied about her experience.

But jurors weren't tasked to determine who was abused but whether or not Depp was slandered by his ex-wife when she wrote The Washington Post piece about domestic violence.

Wednesday's verdict comes 19 months after Depp lost his libel case against the British tabloid newspaper The Sun for labeling him a “wife-beater" in April 2018.

According to People, Depp attempted last March to overturn that decision but was overruled.