Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s trial was broadcast live for six weeks to an audience of millions. In a Virginia courtroom, the performers accused each other of abuse and invited witnesses to testify on their behalf.
The trial came to a close on Friday, and the jury concluded deliberations on Wednesday, June 1 to reach a decision.
Johnny Depp And Amber Heard: The Verdict and Everything You Need to Know
In response to an op-ed Heard authored in the Washington Post in 2018 detailing her experiences with domestic assault, Depp sued Heard for $50 million for defamation.
Although Depp’s name was not mentioned in the article, the Oscar-nominated actor insists it is clearly about him and that it cost him his professional life. Heard is suing Depp for $100 million in retaliation for the original lawsuit.
On one hand, Depp claims that his career was ruined by the op-ed, while Heard is suing the actor for public statements made by one of his lawyers that disparaged her claims.
From 2012 through 2016, the two actors were married. Despite the fact that they accuse one another of maltreatment, they insist that they are innocent.
This is a civil matter, and the burden of proof is on the accuser, Johnny Depp. That means he must persuade the jury that he was injured and that he never abused Heard in any way.
Even if the jury believes the WaPo piece was about Depp, which Heard denies, it is protected if Heard successfully shows that Depp harmed her at least once, therefore truth is a defense with defamatory claims.
It’s more difficult for Depp to prevail in a defamation complaint because he’s a well-known celebrity. Previously, in the UK, he was found guilty of domestic violence against his ex-wife, but the case was thrown out because of the lack of evidence presented.
Defamation suit against Depp and counter-claim against Heard are both before the jury. The purpose of the civil trial is to evaluate if the actors’ reputations and future incomes have been harmed as a result of media statements made by both sides.
If either party or both are entitled to damages, the jury will determine how much compensation should be awarded.
Using photographs, audio recordings, love letters, and private text messages from both performers, the court has heard terrible allegations of abuse from both parties.
A photograph of Depp’s allegedly bruised face, which he claims she struck him with, was shown to the court. While fighting in Australia in 2015, Depp claims that Heard sliced through the tip of his finger.
Depp can sue Heard in Virginia since the Washington Post’s online version is hosted on servers in Fairfax County.
This case should be heard in Virginia because of Virginia’s lax anti-SLAPP legislation, which makes it impossible for anyone to use the courts to intimidate others. His team has already informed the media.