Johnny Depp won a libel case against Amber Heard and his ex-wife was ordered to pay him millions.
Johnny Depp received a $15 million settlement after he successfully sued Amber Heard for defamation.
Jurors rendered verdict Thursday Morning (AEST) in high-profile defamation case between Pirates of the Caribbean star and his ex-wife.
They also discovered that Depp had slandered Heard by awarding her $2 million.
A seven-member jury in Virginia deliberated for about 1 pm over three days in Fairfax County District Court near the US capital.
Closing arguments in the case took place on Friday at the end of a six-week long legal battle over domestic violence lawsuits and counterclaims between Hollywood celebrities.
Depp, 58, filed a lawsuit against Heard over an article she wrote for The Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic violence.”
Texas native Hurd, who starred in Aquaman didn’t name Depp in the article, but he sued her for implying he was a domestic abuser and seeking $50 million in damages.
Heard, 36, filed a $100 million counterclaim, saying she was defamed by statements made by Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman, who told the Daily Mail that her abuse claims were a “hoax”.
The jury painstakingly worked on a special form of the verdict containing dozens of questions.
The eight-page judgment form contained 24 questions relating to Depp’s lawsuit against Heard and 18 questions relating to her counterclaim against him.
Both had to prove that the statements were defamatory, and in order to obtain compensation or punitive damages, the jury had to find that they were made with actual malice—with the knowledge that they were false, or with “reckless disregard” to whether they were false or not.
Depp flew to England over Memorial Day weekend and made a surprise appearance at Jeff Beck concerts in Sheffield on Sunday and at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Monday and Tuesday.
Guitarist Depp has his own band, The Hollywood Vampires, which includes Alice Cooper and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry.
“Your presence shows what your priorities are,” Hurd’s spokesperson said in a statement.
“Johnny Depp is playing guitar in the UK and Amber Heard is awaiting sentencing in Virginia. Depp takes his giggles and frivolity on tour.”
Dozens of witnesses testified during the trial, including bodyguards, Hollywood executives, agents, entertainment industry experts, doctors, friends and relatives.
Depp and Heard spent several days as witnesses during a televised trial that was attended by hundreds of fans of the Pirates star and was accompanied by a #JusticeForJohnnyDepp social media campaign.
The jury was shown video and audio recordings of heated arguments between the couple, laced with profanity, who were also shown pictures of injuries allegedly sustained by Heard during their volatile relationship.
Hours of testimony focused on a horrific finger injury Depp suffered while filming part of Pirates in Australia in March 2015.
Depp said that the tip of his finger was torn off when Hurd threw a bottle of vodka at him. Hurd said she did not know how the injury happened.
Both agreed that Depp continued to scribble messages on walls, lampshades and mirrors using the blood number.
Heard said that Depp would become a physically and sexually abusive “monster” during alcohol and drug-induced binges, and resisted her repeated attempts to curb his drinking and drug use.
Depp revealed that it was Heard who was often the abuser and said it was “cruel” to hear the “outlandish” allegations of domestic violence leveled against him.
“No one is perfect, of course, none of us, but I have never committed sexual beatings, physical violence in my life,” he said.
Hurd, who was married to Depp from 2015 to 2017, received a restraining order against him in May 2016, citing domestic violence.
Depp, a three-time Oscar nominee, filed a libel suit in London against the British tabloid The Sun for calling him a “wife beater”. He lost the case in November 2020.
Both parties claimed damage to their Hollywood careers.
– with AFP