The Wednesday, June 1, verdict came after several weeks of highly-publicized court proceedings. Depp, 58, took legal action against Heard, 36, after the Aquaman actress identified herself as a victim of domestic violence in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed. Although Heard did not mention the Pirates of the Caribbean actor by name in the article, Depp claimed that her allegations of violence damaged his career and reputation.
After the jury’s decision was announced, the Edward Scissorhands actor reacted to his legal victory. Read his complete statement below:
“Six years ago, my life, 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.
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.
And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.
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. 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.
I am, and have been, overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and the colossal support and kindness from around the world. I hope that my quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my situation, and that those supporting them never give up. I also hope that the position will now return to innocent until proven guilty, both within the courts and in the media.
I wish to acknowledge the noble work of the Judge, the jurors, the court staff and the Sheriffs who have sacrificed their own time to get to this point, and to my diligent and unwavering legal team who did an extraordinary job in helping me to share the truth.
The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun.
Veritas numquam perit.
Truth never perishes.”
The jury awarded Depp, who was not present during the hearing, $10 million in compensatory damages as well as $5 million in punitive damages. Heard was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages for her counterclaim that Depp’s attorney Adam Waldman damaged her career when he accused her of creating an “abuse hoax.”
Depp’s lawyers Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew addressed the jury’s decision in a Wednesday, June 1, livestream. “We are grateful, so grateful, to the jury for their careful deliberation. To the judge and the court staff who have devoted an enormous amount of time and resources towards this case,” Vasquez said.
Chew added, “Our judicial system is predicated on each person’s right to have his or her case heard, and we were honored, truly honored, to assist Mr. Depp in ensuring that his case was fairly considered throughout the trial. We are also most pleased that the trial has resonated with so many people in the public who value truth and justice. Now that the jury has reached its conclusive verdict, it’s time to turn the page and look to the future. Thank you all so much, and thanks to the jury.”
Heard also reacted to the verdict in a statement. “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” the actress said. “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.”
The statement continued, “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.”
The defamation trial began on April 11 and concluded on Wednesday.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential support.
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