Johnny Depp Jury Finds That Amber Heard Defamed Him in Op-Ed – The New York Times
Depp sued his ex-wife for defamation over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in which she claimed Depp’s attorney made false statements about her abuse claims.
The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Virginia has a cap on punitive damages, so that that part may be reduced.
Depp won a legal battle against Heard, but the jury said that Depp did not violate Heard’s First Amendment right to free speech. Free speech protections extend to the point of honest expression when you talk about another person. Suppose you lie to defame them and hurt them. As a result, you are not protected under free speech.
Depp’s attorneys thanked the jury and said it was time to move on. Depp was not present in court but released a statement that said, in part, “the jury gave me my life back.”
Heard said she was “heartbroken” over the verdict. Heard had filed a counter-claim in the lawsuit, doubling what Depp was going after and asking for $100 million in damages. For her adjudicated claims, two were rejected, and one was found accurate/libelous. The jury awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damage for that one claim—a slight offset to her loss in the case.
While it is hard to tell for sure what Amber Heard is worth several celebrity tracking websites estimate it between 6 and 9 million dollars. Leaving the likelihood that she pays this judgment close to zero.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- Johnny Depp Jury Finds That Amber Heard Defamed Him in Op-Ed The New York Times
- Legal victory for Johnny Depp after he and Amber Heard found liable for defamation CNN
- Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard: What We Lose When We Turn Real Life Into Entertainment Variety
- Opinion | The Depp-Heard Trial Had No Real Winners The New York Times
- Opinion: This verdict is much bigger than Depp or Heard CNN
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