The Pirates of the Caribbean actor filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against the actress and after more than six weeks, the jury has finally reached a verdict. It took the jury 13 hours to deliberate before ruling Heard liable for defaming her ex-husband Depp.
Depp was awarded $10 in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages which Judge Penney Azcarate of Fairfax County Circuit Court later reduced to $350,000 as of the state’s legal limit. The actor’s total damages amount to $10.4 million.
Meanwhile, the jury awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages based on her countersuit.
As for Heard’s countersuit, the jury awarded the actress $2 million in compensatory damages.
After the verdict was read, Heard released a statement saying, “I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence and sway of my ex-husband. I’m sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American—to speak freely and openly.”
She added, “It is a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously.”
On the other hand, Depp also issued a statement thanking the jury. He said through his spokesperson, “From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me. I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that.”
He added, “I am, and have been, overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and the colossal support and kindness from around the world. I hope that my quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my situation, and that those supporting them never give up. I also hope that the position will now return to innocent until proven guilty, both within the courts and in the media.”
According to NBC News, crowds outside the courtroom cheered after learning of the verdict in support of Depp.