Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation verdict is in, here is what the jury decided

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp defamation.
Depp and Heard entering the courtroom. Pic credit: © Silbiger/CNP/AdMedia

The jury of seven people reached a decision Wednesday in the defamation case brought by Johnny Depp against his ex-wife Amber Heard.

According to his team, Johnny Depp is in England due to prior commitments, but Amber Heard returned to the Fairfax County courtroom to hear the verdict.

The jurors deliberated for approximately 13 hours. They began on Friday afternoon, before taking a break and returning on Tuesday.

The jury did not fill out the compensatory damages in Johnny Depp’s $50-million libel suit against his ex-wife, Amber Heard. The judge asked them to go back and fill that part out, adding that they must award at least $1.

Jury finds Amber Heard guilty of defaming her former husband Johnny Depp

The unanimous jury verdict decided that Johnny Depp won all three claims of defamation from Amber Heard’s op-ed article published in the Washington Post.

The jury awarded the Pirates of the Caribbean star $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.

The jury has found that Heard’s statements about her marriage were “false” and she acted with “actual malice.”

Amber Heard won only one count in her counter-claim

The jury has found that Johnny Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman defamed Amber Heard. This means that the jury did not believe that Amber and her friends perpetrated an “abuse hoax” when she called the police to their apartment in May 2016.

The foreperson was asked if the jury believed this to be false to which she responded, “Yes,” citing the jury’s unanimous opinion.

“Do you find that Ms. Heard has proven by clear and convincing evidence that the statement was made by actual malice?” the judge asked. “Yes.”

She lost the other two counts of her counter-claim against her ex-husband.

Heard on the other hand was awarded 2 million in compensation and $0 in punitive damages.

The Jury has 38 pages of instructions and 8 pages of verdict forms. Each verdict form requires a yes or no to 8 different items.

Amber Heard appeared stoic during the live feed of the jury, mostly looking down. She left the courtroom after the verdict was read while Depp’s team was seen hugging each other and smiling before exiting the courtroom.

Amber Heard’s legal team criticized Johnny Depp for not attending the verdict

Johnny Depp is in England for what his team claim was previously scheduled appearances with Jeff Beck. Heard’s legal team released a statement criticizing his absence:

“Your presence shows where your priorities are. Johnny Depp plays guitar in the UK while Amber Heard waits for a verdict in Virginia. Depp is taking his snickering and lack of seriousness on tour.”

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