A jury determined Wednesday that actor Johnny Depp was defamed by allegations from his former wife Amber Heard. In all allegations of defamation, the jury found for Depp over Heard, saying that he has "proven all elements of defamation."
Prior to the verdict, Judge Penney Azcarate read the verdict but sent the jurors back into the room saying that they must decide a number for compensatory and punitive damages.
Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million for punitive damages.
The actor had sued for $50 million in damages over a 2018 essay by Heard published in the Washington Post that Depp's attorneys say indirectly referred to allegations of abuse she had made against him in their 2016 divorce. Heard then countersued for $100 million saying she had only resorted to violence in defense of herself or her sister.
Heard's story was considered to be false and they found for Depp.
Heard's countersuit cited statements made by Depp's former attorney describing her allegations of abuse as a hoax. In one count of her allegations, she alleged that Depp and his lawyer lied about her. In that count, Depp was found to have defamed Heard. She was given $2 million in compensatory damages and $0 in punitive damages.
Essentially, the court decided that she lied about his abuse and that in a few of his attacks after her allegations, he lied about some of the details of her falsifying a physical abuse scene in a DailyMail article. According to Depp and his lawyer, she and her friends trashed the house after he left so that she could call the police and allege he abused her. There was no testimony on that claim, and the jury found that as a result, that claim fell under liability for defamation.
After the allegations, Depp was dropped as a lead role in the Harry Potter prequel "Fantastic Beasts." He was also removed from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, which his and Heard's agent Christian Carino attributed to Heard's allegations, Variety reported in April.
Carino testified that Disney never directly said that the abuse accusations were the cause of Depp being dropped, but it was "understood."
Heard had evidence of the couple's fights while Depp was under the influence and prior to rehab. He attempted to detox off of opiates and alcohol while married to Heard, People magazine reported.
"He didn't think he could do it. That changed after a conversation; he was back on board," said Beverly Hills doctor David Kipper. His text messages were read as part of the trial. He also testified that there were concerns Depp was abusing Xanax during the marriage.
Heard, by contrast, was being seen by Depp fans as an abuser herself. A recording played in court taunted him as someone who would be mocked for claiming he was an abused male.
"Tell the world, Johnny," she said in the recording from 2016. "Tell them, ‘I, Johnny Depp, a man, a victim, too, of domestic violence.'" She also testified that she would frequently scream at him and call him names.
It's unclear if Depp will move forward with any lawsuits against Disney after his agent's testimony that his role was influenced by the abuse allegations.
Heard maintained her allegations were true in a statement responding to the verdict. She attacked the court decision in a statement after the fact, saying that it will hurt women everywhere who allege abuse. She went on to say that it will set the clock back on women "who spoke up and spoke out" and that they would be "publicly shamed and humiliated."
Depp responded to the verdict by saying that he's grateful to have his life back.
"Six years ago, my life, and the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also the lives of the people who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed. All in the blink of an eye," Depp said in a statement. "False, very serious, and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me. It had already traveled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career."
"My decision to pursue this case, knowing very well the height of the legal hurdles that I would be facing and the inevitable, world spectacle into my life, was only made after considerable thought," Depp continued. "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 went on to thank those who have continued to support him as well as the judge and members of the jury.
You can see a stream of the verdict coverage via Law and Crime below:
VERDICT REACHED, READ AT 3PM ET: Johnny Depp v Amber Heard Defamation Trial www.youtube.com
Watch the verdict being read here:
Amber Heard found to have lied about Johnny Depp abuse www.youtube.com