Depp-Heard trial verdict: Johnny Depp wins defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard

Your need-to-knows.

Depp-Heard trial verdict

Your need-to-knows.

Tonight, the Depp-Heard trial verdict has been reached.

Jurors have voted that actor Depp was, in fact, defamed in 2018 when Heard published a Washington Post op-ed calling herself a "figure [of] domestic abuse."

He will be awarded $10m (£8m) in compensation and a further $5m (£4m) in punitive damages.

Depp's team have said on his behalf: "My decision to pursue this case, knowing very well the height of the legal hurdles that I would be facing and the inevitable, worldwide spectacle into my life, was only made after considerable thought."

"From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome."

"The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun. Veritas numquam perit. Truth never perishes."

"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 travelled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career."

"And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled."

Heard was present in the Fairfax Country Circuit courthouse while Depp remained absent when the verdict was read.

The trial, which has been ongoing for seven weeks, saw testaments from dozens of witnesses, experts, and so on.

Heard did win on one count of her countersuit of defamation and was awarded $2m.

The benchmark for ruling defamation in the US is deemed higher than in the UK, which makes the win for Depp even more significant.

The Johnny Depp Amber Heard trial has been headline news since the trial kicked off seven weeks ago, with Depp refusing to make eye contact with his ex-wife, Heard being diagnosed with multiple personality disorders, and Depp's ex-girlfriend Kate Moss appearing to give evidence via video link.

It's dubbed as being one of the biggest cultural events of our lifetimes.

Reaching out with a statement from Heard, her team said to Marie Claire UK: “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. 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 even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. 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."

"I believe Johnny’s attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech and ignore evidence that was so conclusive that we won in the UK."

"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.”

Ally Head
Health, Sustainability and Relationships Editor

Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, eight-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She regularly hosts panels and presents for things like the MC Sustainability Awards, has an Optimum Nutrition qualification, and saw nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw, with health page views up 98% year on year, too. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.