Amber Heard was found guilty of libel after a seven-member jury in Virginia determined that an essay she wrote in 2018 about the “sexual abuse” she had endured was defamatory to Johnny Depp and was written with malicious intent.
A US jury determined on Wednesday that actress Amber Heard falsely accused her ex-husband Johnny Depp of assault and awarded him $15 million in damages.
The seven-member jury in Virginia determined that an essay written by Heard in 2018 about the “sexual assault” she had endured was defamatory to Depp and was written with malice, finding Heard guilty of libel.
In addition, the jury determined that Heard was defamed by statements made by Depp’s attorney, Adam Waldman, who told the Daily Mail that her abuse allegations were a “hoax,” and gave her $2 million in damages.
The jury delivered a judgement in the high-profile slander case earlier today.
The seven-member Virginia jury has deliberated for around 13 hours over three days at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in the vicinity of the nation’s capital.
Friday marked the conclusion of a six-week trial centered on allegations and counter-allegations of domestic violence between the Hollywood personalities.
The 58-year-old Depp filed a lawsuit against Heard in response to an opinion piece she published in The Washington Post in December 2018 in which she referred to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Heard, who starred in “Aquaman,” did not name Depp in the article, but he sued her for claiming that he was a domestic abuser, asking $50 million in damages.
Heard, 36, countersued for $100 million, claiming she was defamed by allegations made by Depp’s attorney, Adam Waldman, who told the Daily Mail that her abuse claims were a “hoax.”
The jury has been laboriously completing a verdict form that has dozens of questions.
The eight-page verdict form featured 24 questions on Depp’s lawsuit against Heard and 18 questions about her countersuit against him.
To win compensatory or punitive damages, the jury had to determine that the defamatory comments were made with genuine malice — with knowledge that they were untrue or with “reckless disregard” for whether they were false or not.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, Depp travelled to England and made surprise appearances at Jeff Beck concerts in Sheffield on Sunday and at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Monday and Tuesday.
Depp, a guitarist, has his own band, the Hollywood Vampires, with Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Alice Cooper.
“Your presence demonstrates where your priorities lie,” stated the representative for Heard.
“Johnny Depp plays guitar in the United Kingdom while Amber Heard waits in Virginia for a verdict. Depp is touring with his laughter and lack of seriousness.”
During the trial, dozens of witnesses testified, including bodyguards, Hollywood executives, agents, entertainment business specialists, doctors, friends, and family members.
Depp and Heard each testified for days during the televised trial, which was attended by hundreds of “Pirates of the Caribbean” fans and accompanied by a #JusticeForJohnnyDepp social media campaign.’