Mr. Depp and Ms. Heard were both suing each other for defamation, but their claims were different. The jury decided on Wednesday that Johnny Depp Amber Heard slandered and that one of his lawyers slandered her. Critic Margaret Lyons and her friends recommend TV shows and movies that you can stream.
For 4 weeks, you can try out the Watching newsletter. In a Virginia defamation trial between actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, the jury found that Mr. Depp was slandered in a 2018 op-ed. This gave the actor a win in his long, messy fight over domestic abuse claims.
But the jury’s decision was split, and one of Mr. Depp’s lawyers at the time said that one of the statements at the centre of Ms. Heard’s lawsuit was false and hurtful. They gave Mr. Depp $15 million in restitution, but the judge put a limit on the amount of punitive damages, so the total amount was $10.35 million. Damages of $2 million were given to Ms. Heard by the jury.
Johnny Depp Amber Heard Trial
The case had turned into a fierce fight over the truth regarding their connection, with both sides accusing each other of repeated domestic violence in a Johnny Depp Amber Heard marriage that was definitely not easy. During the trial in Melbourne County Circuit Court, lawyers asked witnesses about the events of what has been called a “whirlwind romance” that began on a movie set and ended in a series of fights and physical confrontations, the details of which vary greatly from account to account.
Mr. Depp, who is 58 years old, sued Ms. Heard, who is 36, because she wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post in which she called herself a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” After fighting in court for more than a year, Ms. Heard filed a counterclaim against Mr. Depp in 2020. She said that he slandered her when a lawyer for him said that her claims of abuse were made up.
Many of the accusations that were made in the courtroom had already been heard in a British case that Mr. Depp lost. In that case, the actor filed a lawsuit against The Sun newspaper for calling him a “wife beater” in a headline.
In her testimony, Ms. Heard said that Mr. Depp was a controlling husband who often beat her up after accusing her of being unfaithful. In his witness statements, Mr. Depp said that Ms. Heard was a partner who changed her mind often and tried to start fights.
Johnny Depp Amber Heard Case
The Power of Variational Acts of Kindness That We Didn’t Expect. The case began on April 12 with the opening statements. The jury heard the case for the first time on May 27. During the holiday weekend, talks were put on hold. During that time, Mr. Depp made two surprise appearances onstage with guitarist Jeff Beck at two of his music events in England.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the jury got back to work, and by Wednesday afternoon, they had reached a decision. To all of you: Stories like this are feasible because we put a lot of effort into original reporting. This is done by a staff of more than 1,700 journalists around the world who all want to help you understand the world. This work is only feasible because our subscribers pay for it. We hope you’ll think about becoming a member right now.
On Tuesday, the jurors asked the court an inquiry that was related to the headline of Ms. Heard’s opinion piece: “I spoke out against sexual violence—and faced our culture’s wrath.” That has to be different. ” Ms. Heard said she didn’t have anything to do with writing the headline. It was one of three parts of the op-ed that were at issue in Mr. Depp’s defamation case. The other two were a sentence about how she was a “public figure representing domestic abuse” and a passage about how institutions protect men who are accused of abuse.
The jury wasn’t sure if the court’s instructions meant that they had to decide if just the headline was false or if the whole op-ed was. After talking to the lawyers on both sides, Judge Penney S. Azcarate told the jury that they were only being asked if the headline was false, not if the whole op-ed was false.
Why did Mr. Depp take Ms. Heard to court?
The lawsuit that Mr. Depp filed in 2019 was about Ms. Heard’s 2018 opinion piece in The Washington Post.
In the opinion piece, Ms. Heard doesn’t mention Mr. Depp by name, but she does say that two years before the article came out, she became a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
In 2016, Johnny Depp Amber Heard was given a temporary restraining order after she went to court in California with bruises on her face and said that Mr. Depp had thrown a phone at her face from close range.
Ms. Heard wrote in her application that Mr. Depp had been verbally and physically mean to her the whole time they were together. In his lawsuit, Mr. Depp said that Ms. Heard’s claims of abuse were an “elaborate hoax” that hurt his career and reputation. The actor’s lawsuit said, “Mr. Depp brings this defamation action to clear his name.”
What did Ms. Heard’s letter to the editor say in The Washington Post?
The op-ed says that her career started to go downhill after she became a “public figure who spoke out about domestic abuse.”She wrote that “friends and advisors told me I would never work as an actress again because I would be blacklisted.” My part in a movie was given to someone else. I had just finished a two-year campaign as the face of a global fashion brand, and the company dropped me. She wrote that she saw “how institutions protect men accused of abuse in real time.” The op-ed said that Ms. Heard worked for the American Civil Liberties Union as an ambassador for women’s rights.
Terence Dougherty, the general counsel for the A.C.L.U., testified in the case that an early draught of the op-ed, which was written by the organization’s communications department, directly mentioned Ms. Heard and Mr. Depp’s relationship. However, those references were taken out after conversations about the terms of a nondisclosure agreement related to their divorce.
Mr. Depp said that the opinion piece made it clear that it was about their relationship. Even though the trial turned into a long investigation into the couple’s marriage, one of Ms. Heard’s lawyers, Ben Rottenborn, tried to convince the jury that the case came down to “one piece of paper”—this opinion piece. Ms. Heard was suing back, saying that Mr. Depp and a lawyer had worked together to “try to destroy and smear Ms. Heard in the press.”
Why did Ms. Heard take Mr. Depp to court?
At the same time, the jury was thinking about Ms. Heard’s countersuit against Mr. Depp. Ms. Heard sued Mr. Depp for defamation, but it was based on what his lawyer, Adam Waldman, said at the time. He told the British tabloid The Daily Mail that the actress’s claims were an “abuse hoax.”Her lawsuit said that Mr. Depp “authorised and conspired” with Mr. Waldman, who was acting on the actor’s behalf, to “attempt to destroy and defame Ms. Heard in the press.”
In her testimony, what did Ms. Heard say?
Ms. Heard said that Mr. Depp had a “pattern” of violence, which usually consisted of him lashing out at her when he was drunk or high. She said that when Mr. Depp accused her of cheating on him, even though she denied it, he would often get so angry that he would hit her.
“He would blow up,” Ms. Heard said, describing how Mr. Depp would punch walls next to her head, push her down, and continually slap her. She talked about an incident that happened in 2015 while the couple was filming the fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie in Australia. She said that after taking the drug MDMA, Mr. Depp beat her with a bottle and then sexually assaulted her. Ms. Heard said that he was mad about a number of things, including the fact that he thought she was having an affair with another actor.
She said that Mr. Depp became “belligerent” and attacked her by hitting her in the face, throwing her across the room, ripping off her nightgown, and grabbing her by the neck. Sometimes Johnny Depp Amber Heard breaking down in tears as she spoke, “When I look into his eyes, I don’t see him anymore.”
“I’ve never been so scared in all my life.”
During the cross-examination of Ms. Heard, one of Mr. Depp’s lawyers, Camille Vasquez, tried to show that Ms. Heard wasn’t a reliable witness by showing text messages, love letters, and audio recordings of the couple’s fights.
Ms. Vasquez also asked why Ms. Heard didn’t have medical records to back up key incidents of alleged abuse, and she showed photos of Ms. Heard taken around the time she said she had been hit that didn’t show any bruises or swelling. Ms. Heard said of one picture, “You should see what it looked like without the makeup on.”
In his testimony, what did Mr. Depp say?
Mr. Depp told a very different story about how he and Ms. Heard met and got together. He also said that he had never hit her or any other woman. Instead, he said that Ms. Heard was the one who started fights by going on angry rants and calling him “demeaning names,” which often led to physical violence. Mr. Depp said. “It could start with a slap, a push, a TV remote thrown at my head, or a glass of wine thrown in my face,” Mr. Depp said.
In Australia, the actor told a different story about what happened. Mr. Depp said in court that Ms. Heard was angry about a meeting she had with a lawyer about a possible postnuptial agreement, so she threw a handle of vodka at him, which broke and hurt his middle finger very badly.”The tip of my finger was cut off, and I could see my bone sticking out,” he said in court.
(Ms. Heard said she didn’t throw a vodka bottle at his hand and that she thinks Mr. Depp hurt his finger by grabbing a phone off the wall and smashing it to pieces.) During cross-examination, Mr. Rottenborn showed Mr. Depp text messages he had sent to other people in which he said bad things about Ms. Heard, such as calling her a “worthless hooker.” Mr. Depp said in court that he was embarrassed by some of these text messages, which show that he can be creative and exaggerate in his writing.
Mr. Depp said, “When I write a text, especially when I’m feeling especially passionate, it’s a canvas, it’s a painting.”
“You choose your colours.”The jury also heard audio of Mr. Depp saying to Ms. Heard, “I head-butted you in the forehead” and “That doesn’t break a nose.” The actor said that their heads may have bumped, but he didn’t mean to head-but her. He said that in the recorded conversation, he was just repeating Ms. Heard’s version of what happened to make her feel better.
What did the people who spoke for Mr. Depp say in court?
The jury heard from several witnesses whose stories, according to Mr. Depp’s lawyers, were different from Ms. Heard’s. Three police officers who went to the couple’s Los Angeles home after the fight in which Ms. Heard said Mr. Depp threw a phone at her testified that they didn’t see any injuries to her face.
Ben King, the manager of the Australian home where the couple stayed during their trip in 2015, testified about the damage he saw in the house after the incident. He talked about broken glass, blood stains, and a Ping-Pong table that had fallen over. Ms. Falati, a private nurse who helped Ms. Heard and Mr. Depp, said she didn’t remember seeing any injuries on Ms. Heard soon after the accident.
Laurel Anderson, a marriage counsellor, said that she saw “mutual abuse” in the relationship between the two people. And Mr. Depp’s talent manager, Jack Whigham, said in court that after the op-ed came out, Mr. Depp lost a $22.5 million deal to star in the sixth “Pirates” movie.
Shannon Curry, a forensic psychologist who looked at Ms. Heard, gave testimony that she had diagnosed her with bipolar disorder and histrionic personality disorder. She denied that she showed signs of post-traumatic traumatic stress.
What did the people who spoke for Ms. Heard say in court?
Dawn Hughes, a forensic psychologist, was the first person Ms. Heard’s team called as a witness. She also checked out the actress and gave a different opinion on her mental health. Dr. Hughes said in court that she thought Ms. Heard had post-traumatic stress disorder because of the abuse she got from Mr. Depp. She didn’t agree with the personality disorder diagnosis.
Ms. Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez, said in court that she saw Mr. Depp grab Ms. Heard by the hair and repeatedly hit her in the face during a fight in March 2015. Ms. Heard has admitted that, during that fight, she poked Mr. Depp in the face to protect her sister.
Later that year, Ms. Heard said that Mr. Depp head-butted her and tore chunks of hair out of her head. Ms. Heard’s friends at the time testified that they saw the injuries that Ms. Heard said Mr. Depp caused. A makeup artist said that she remembered trying to cover up the injuries with makeup for a look on James Corden’s late-night show.
Raquel Pennington, one of Ms. Heard’s friends who testified, said she saw cuts on Ms. Heard’s arms and feet just after the Australia incident. Ms. Heard said the cuts were caused by the fight that broke glass all over the place.
Tracey Jacobs, who used to be Depp Depp’s agent, said that he had a pattern of “unprofessional behaviour,” like showing up late to movie sets and drinking and using drugs more. She said that at one point in his career, he often wore an earbud on set so that he could hear his lines.
Tina Newman, a Disney production executive, said that she didn’t know of any decisions about Mr. Depp’s possible role in a sixth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie that were made because of Ms. Heard’s opinion piece.
How did the British case turn out?
The 2020 trial in Britain was based on a lawsuit Mr. Depp filed against News Group Newspapers, which owns the British tabloid newspaper The Sun, and Dan Wootton, the paper’s executive editor, over a 2018 headline that called Mr. Depp a “wife beater.”
Johnny Depp Amber Heard Judgement
The judge looked at her 14 times when Ms. Heard, who was the most important witness for the newspaper, said that Mr. Depp hurt her. Mr. Depp denied everything that was said. Andrew Nicol, the British supreme court justice who heard the case, decided that there was enough evidence to say that most of the assaults had happened and that the newspaper’s report was “substantially true.”
In 2015, Justice Nicol wrote about an event in Australia: “I believe her testimony about the essence of the assaults he did to her.” “They must have scared people.” I agree that Mr. Depp scared her to death. ”
Johnny Depp Amber Heard Verdict
In the Virginia court hearing, the jury had to agree on a verdict, but they did not have to be convinced “beyond a reasonable doubt,” as they would have to be in a criminal case. For either side to win the case, the jury would have had to decide that Mr. Depp or Ms. Heard had been defamed by the other side and that there was clear and convincing proof that the other side had done so with bad intentions.