A jury in the United States on Wednesday found Amber Heard liable for defaming her ex-husband Johnny Depp, and the judge ordered she pay him $10.35 million (roughly €10 million) in damages. The jury had recommended $15 million.
The jury also found in favor of Heard in some aspects of her counter-suit against Depp, specifically that he defamed her, through his attorney, and awarded her $2 million.
“The jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled,” Depp who wasn’t in court for the verdict, said in a statement. In a detailed statement shared on his social media, the Pirates star penned, “Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also, the lives of the people who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed. All in the blink of an eye.”
He went on to add, “False, very serious and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me. It had already traveled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career. And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.”
Depp then shared his reasons for pursuing the case. “My decision to pursue this case, knowing very well the height of the legal hurdles that I would be facing and the inevitable, worldwide spectacle in my life, was only made after considerable thought.”
The actor then remarked, “From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. 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 added that he is and “have been, overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and the colossal support and kindness from around the world.” He wrote, “I hope that my quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my situation, and that those supporting them never give up. I also hope that the position will now return to innocent until proven guilty, both within the courts and in the media.”
The Oscar-nominated actor went asserted, “I wish to acknowledge the noble work of the Judge, the jurors, the court staff and the Sheriffs who have sacrificed their own time to get to this point, and to my diligent and unwavering legal team who did an extraordinary job in helping me to share the truth.”
He concluded with, “The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun. Veritas numquam perit. Truth never perishes.”
Depp sued Heard for $50 million (€53 million) for defamation after she wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” Heard filed a $100 million counterclaim after Depp’s attorney called her claims a hoax.
The jury ruled Depp was defamed by a passage in the article and by the headline, which read: “I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.”
Jurors rejected two of Heard’s three counterclaims. They concluded she was defamed when an attorney for Depp told a media outlet that Heard attempted to stage property damage to show police after an alleged fight.
“Amber and her friends spilled a little wine and roughed the place up, got their stories straight under the direction of a lawyer and publicist,” the statement said in part.
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