Johnny Depp wins defamation lawsuit in the United States against his ex-wife Amber Heard | News of Arts and Entities

Johnny Depp won his multimillion-dollar lawsuit in the United States against his ex-wife Amber Heard after a Virginia jury ruled that a 2018 article in The Washington Post was defamatory.

The court awarded him $15 million, which includes $10 million in compensatory damages and another $5 million in punitive damages.

Amber Heard was awarded $2 million in her countersuit against Depp.

depth had sued Heard for $50m (£38.2m) over a first-person article published in The Washington Post in December 2018, in which she referred to herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse” .

HeardDepp’s column did not mention her name, but argued that it was an example of “libel by implication” because parts of the column referred to abuse allegations she made against him following their breakup in 2016. Heard had issued a counterclaim. for $100m (£76.4m) for statements calling her accusations a “hoax” made by her ex-husband’s solicitor and published in Mail Online stories in 2020.

Depp vs. Heard libel trial: live updates

Actor Johnny Depp takes a stand during his libel trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S., April 20, 2022. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Pool

At the end of the six-week trial in Fairfax, Virginia, the actor’s legal team asked the jury to “bring Mr. Depp back to life,” saying the case was not about money but about reputation, and “releasing him from the prison I was in.” he has lived for the last six years.”

In his own closing argument, Heard’s lawyer, Ben Rottenborn, said the lawsuit was not about Depp’s reputation, but was part of an ongoing smear campaign launched by the actor after Heard filed for divorce.

“In Mr. Depp’s world, you don’t leave Mr. Depp,” he said. “If you do, it will start a global humiliation campaign against you.”

Rottenborn said it was “ridiculous” that Depp was trying to “fool” the jury into believing that he never abused Heard.

During six weeks of testimony in the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia, the jury heard from friends, including the supermodel Kate Moss – Past and present family members, doctors, therapists, and staff who worked and spent time with the ex-partner. Depp and Heard also took the stand twice each, spending several days giving different versions of their relationship to the jury.

Shocking details about their massive ranks were detailed in court. Aside from the alleged physical violence, claims against Depp included an allegation that he pushed his dog out the window of a moving car and that he painted messages in blood on the wall of a house in Australia. after infamously cutting his finger. He, in turn, accused Heard of defecating on her bed and faking bleeding injuries using nail polish.

It was a matter of who the jury believed.

As the plaintiff, or the person who initiated the legal proceedings, Depp was the first of the pair to testify, telling the jury he’s “obsessed with the truthand claimed that it was he who was the victim of domestic abuse during his relationship with Heard, and not the other way around. She called his ex-wife’s accusations against him “appalling and disturbing,” saying they had “penetrated” the entertainment industry and that she hoped the trial would clear his name.

When Heard took the stand, he made several allegations of physical and sexual abuse against Depp, bursting into tears as he explained some in graphic detail. She told the court that her ex-husband had been jealous of her co-stars, including Eddie Redmayne, Billy Bob Thornton and James Franco, and that during an incident of alleged abuse she feared for her life.

Actor Amber Heard testifies during the Depp vs. Heard libel trial at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S. May 26, 2022. Michael Reynolds/Pool via REUTERS

Franco and the technological billionaire Elon Muskwho dated Heard after her relationship with Depp ended, was due to testify during the trial, as was Depp’s friend Paul Bettany, but the high-profile stars were unable to participate due to time constraints.

In the opening statementsDepp’s lawyers said Heard was preparing for “the performance of a lifetime” during the hearing, while his legal team said the case would expose the “real” person behind the “fame” and “pirate costumes.” “.

During the case, a couples therapist told the court that the pair engaged in “mutual abuse“, weather two expert psychologists gave different versions about whether or not Heard suffered from PTSD as a result of the abuse, or whether she did in fact have a personality disorder.

A financial expert estimated that Depp had lost around $40 million in income as a result of Heard’s accusations, and many of his security guards and staff members corroborated his claims that his ex-wife was sometimes violent towards him.

Read more:
Depp v Heard: what was said during opening statements?

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However, Heard’s witnesses said they saw evidence of physical abuse, with a make-up artist saying she had to cover up an injury to her lip and the actress’s sister witnessing a fight between the former couple.

Depp and Heard began dating after meeting on the set of the 2011 film The Rum Diary and married in Los Angeles in February 2015. They separated in May 2016, with Heard filing for a restraining order soon after.

The verdict in the US case comes nearly two years after Depp’s first libel trial in the UK. a three-week case against the publisher of The Sun newspaper at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp photographed in January 2016, just a few months before their breakup.  Photo: AP
Image:
Heard and Depp photographed in January 2016, just a few months before their breakup. Photo: AP

After the trial in the summer of 2020, in which Heard testified as a witness, rather than as a defendant, the judge made his ruling a few months later, finding that an article referring to the actor as a “wife beater” was “substantially true”.

Depp asked the Court of Appeals to grant him permission to challenge the ruling, with the aim of overturning its conclusions and ordering a new trial, but the appeal was denied in March 2021.

Since the trial in the UK case, Depp has been seen at some industry events and won a lifetime achievement award from a major film festival in Spain and, more recently, a medal of honor for his contributions to art in Serbian. He is also promoting his work as an artist.

Read more:
‘I’m obsessed with the truth’: Depp’s first day on the stand

‘He broke my heart’: Heard’s first day on the stand

However, film roles appear to have dried up for the former Pirates of the Caribbean star, with his latest film Minamata, in which he played war photographer Eugene Smith, released in 2020. He will not be part of a planned sixth Pirates of the Caribbean film. Caribbean. Caribbean film and was also cut from the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts 3, with Mads Mikkelsen later replacing him as Gellert Grindelwald.

Heard, who welcomed a daughter via surrogacy in 2021, has starred in Zack Snyder’s Justice League in 2021 and will appear in Aquaman 2 in 2023.

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