TheActor Johnny Depp scored a resounding legal victory against Amber Heard in a US court on Wednesday, although jurors concluded the ex-couple had defamed each other in the press, after a bitter trial exposed the faded private lives of two Hollywood celebrities.
After about 13 hours of deliberation, the seven jurors in Fairfax Courthouse, near Washington, ruled that the address and two clips from the pulpit, published in 2018 by Amber Heard in Washington PostIt contained defamatory comments about the Pirates of the Caribbean star and awarded him $15 million.
It is clear that these five men and two women unanimously felt that Amber Heard had made false statements by describing herself as a victim of domestic violence, and that she had acted with “malicious intent”, even if she did not mention her ex-husband’s name in this text.
The 36-year-old actress, who was in court, welcomed the verdict with a serious face, apparently accusing the hit.
After his absence from the courtroom on Wednesday, Johnny Depp, 58, responded to him in the form of a message posted on Instagram. “The jury brought me back to life,” he said. “The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally opened,” he added.
He had maintained that he never raised a hand on a woman during the trial, which lasted six weeks and offered to dive relentlessly into the intimacy between the two Hollywood stars.
Believing that the published platform spoiled his reputation and career, Johnny Depp demanded compensation of $50 million.
Amber Heard, who has appeared notably in “Justice League” and “Aquaman”, counterattacked and asked for the double, believing that three statements by Johnny Depp’s former lawyer to the Daily Mail in 2020 were in turn defamatory.
The jury responded in the affirmative only to one of them, awarding the actress $2 million in compensation.
” disappointment ”
Mrs. Heard confided in her “unspeakable disappointment”. “I was appalled that the mountain of evidence was not enough to address my ex-husband’s much greater power, influence, and dominance,” she wrote in his statement.
“I am even more disappointed by what this ruling means to other women. It is a setback. It challenges the idea that violence against women should be taken seriously,” she said.
Johnny Depp was on tour in the UK, where he participated in several concerts of British singer Jeff Beck.
In front of the court, a few dozen people rejoiced at the announcement of the verdict. Behind a security tape, some spectators carried banners supporting the American actor, a man disguised as Jack Sparrow, the character he plays in the movie “Pirate of the Caribbean.”
In his press release, Johnny Depp praised the “wave of love” expressed by the hundreds of fans who gather every day in the courtroom and at court entrances to support him.
The trial, which was broadcast live on television, emptied the private life of the couple, in front of millions of viewers around the world.
Dozens of hours of testimonies and audio or video recordings revealed details of their disputed relationship, a far cry from Hollywood glamour, between 2011 and 2016.
The actress said that Johnny Depp became a “monster” under the influence of an explosive mixture of drugs and alcohol and refused to pursue rehab.
He was going to rape her with a bottle of alcohol a month after their marriage, in March 2015, in Australia where the actor was filming the fifth episode of Pirates.
That day, the end of Johnny Depp’s finger was cut off and he was taken to the hospital. He claims that it is due to glare from a bottle thrown by Amber Heard. She says he injured himself.
After another argument in May 2016, during which Johnny Depp allegedly threw a phone at her, she filed for divorce on the grounds of domestic violence.
Since then, she has said that she became the target of a smear campaign on social media that wiped out her career.
Meanwhile, the actor denounced the “stunning” accusations and emphasized that his wife, on the contrary, was violent.
This trial, in front of a civil chamber, looks like retaliation for Johnny Depp, whose defamation complaint was dismissed in London in 2020 against The Sun newspaper, which called him the “violent husband”.
The two actors claim they have lost between $40 and $50 million in fees since the Tribune was published.