A Virginia jury on Wednesday ruled that actor Amber Heard defamed ex-husband Johnny Depp in a widely watched six-week trial that featured explicit and graphic evidence and testimony detailing the former Hollywood couple’s soured relationship. The jury also ruled in favor of Heard in some aspects of her counter-suit against Depp.
The jury awarded Depp $15 million in damages from Heard. The panel awarded Heard $2 million in damages. Depp, the 58-year-old “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, sued Heard for $50 million and argued that she defamed him when she called herself “a public figure representing domestic abuse” in a newspaper opinion piece. Heard, 36, countersued for $100 million, saying Depp smeared her when his lawyer called her accusations a “hoax.”
During six weeks of testimony, Heard’s attorneys argued that she had told the truth and that her comments were covered as free speech under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. Throughout the case, jurors listened to recordings of the couple’s fights and saw graphic photos of Depp’s bloody finger. He said the top of the finger was severed when Heard threw a vodka bottle at him in 2015.
Once among Hollywood’s biggest stars, Depp said Heard’s allegations cost him “everything.” A new “Pirates” movie was put on hold and Depp was replaced in the “Fantastic Beasts” film franchise, a “Harry Potter” spinoff.