The celebrity trial of the year has ended with a bang for Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp who cleaned up in his defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard when a Virginia jury unanimously awarded him more than $10 million in a trial that has generated headlines for weeks.
On Wednesday, after weeks of testimony and three days of deliberations, the jury reached its verdict, agreeing with the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie franchise star that Heard made up claims that he had abused her both before and during their brief but tumultuous union.
Heard made her allegations in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed about domestic violence in which she never actually mentioned his name. Depp sued for $50 million insisting that he suffered grave career damage and that her column cost him several film roles with reports that one of those is of Captain Jack Sparrow, his most famous character.
Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages for libel along with another $5 million in punitive damages, the penalty for libel, although due to a Commonwealth statute the punitive amount was capped at $350,000.
Believe all women… except Amber Heard.
$15,000,000 in compensatory and punitive damages to Depp, and perhaps a case that could end the effective rabid femminist notion that all men are guilty before being proven innocent that we’ve seen as of late.
She’s just that terrible!
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 1, 2022
Heard also won her own counter defamation suit against the 58-year-old actor, being awarded a sum of $2 million by the jury, far short of the $100 million that she sought, claiming that his former lawyer defamed her by calling her lawsuit a hoax.
Depp, who wasn’t in the courtroom for the verdict expressed great relief, saying that “the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.”
Johnny Depp has won his defamation case against Amber Heard.
This is not just a victory for Johnny, but a victory for male victims of domestic abuse & false allegations.
Captain Jack Sparrow has gifted male victims a voice.
— Anshul Saxena (@AskAnshul) June 1, 2022
Even Amber Heard can’t catch Captain Jack Sparrow.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) June 1, 2022
The actor posted an image of what appeared to be a typewritten statement on Instagram.
“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,” he wrote. “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,” he added. “It had already traveled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and career.”
“And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled,” Depp wrote.
Depp’s career has spanned nearly five decades and has featured starring roles in both box office smashes as well as lesser movies including “Edward Scissorhands,” “Donnie Brasco,” “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” the film version of the famed Hunter S. Thompson counterculture novel in which he played the drug-gobbling “Gonzo” journalist.
He also had roles as infamous Boston gangster Whitey Bulger in “Black Mass,” Ichabod Crane in “Sleepy Hollow” and of course, Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean” and its sequels.
Heard posted her reaction on Twitter, writing, “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,” she continued. “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,” she said. “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.”
— Amber Heard (@realamberheard) June 1, 2022
Not only was it a devastating loss for Heard but Clay Travis of Outkick and the nationally syndicated “Clay & Buck Show” predicted that the verdict would be the death knell for the #MeToo movement.
Johnny Depp just ended #BelieveAllWomen and #metoo with a monstrous $15 million dollar defamation verdict against Amber Heard. pic.twitter.com/yo3hGW2UzM
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) June 1, 2022
Indeed, Heard’s reaction as she dramatically claimed the verdict is a “setback” for all women was taken even further with a head-scratching take from The Root in a piece headlined, “Amber Heard Verdict Sends A Message To Black Women Everywhere.”
“If the mistreatment of a wealthy blonde-haired, blue-eyed white actress is ridiculed by the world, what does that mean for Black women?” wrote Candace McDuffie.
“If all of Heard’s privilege couldn’t protect her from such viciousness, Black women—like always—remain even more vulnerable,” she added.
“As we’ve seen from Tina Turner to Rihanna, from Megan Thee Stallion to the dozens of young Black women R.Kelly abused, our pain becomes punchlines and our humanity is invalidated,” McDuffie claimed. “What happened to Heard is another vile reminder to women—particularly Black women—that nothing can guarantee our safety.”
Amid the countless reactions pouring in from Twitter users after the jury’s decision, this hot take sparked a truckload of confusion.
— Daria Morgendorffer (@uhteaspoon) June 1, 2022
“How can I make this about me?”
— JimJamMS (@JimJam_MS) June 1, 2022
— Shay Savage (@Ldy_Shay) June 2, 2022
On behalf of all the black women in the world, we kindly reject this message.
— ini✨ (@inigeorge0) June 1, 2022
I opened the article and closed it in 5 seconds. Wasted 5 seconds of my life
— •Khan.eth (@khanofkhans11_) June 1, 2022
What did I miss? Did Amber lie about her race as well? pic.twitter.com/9Cw7OEofNI
— Sonyekethwayo (@Malabulabu945) June 1, 2022
How the hell does her verdict have anything to do with black women??? pic.twitter.com/CbxwwaC0c7
— BIGMAL803 (@big_CTB803) June 1, 2022
Everything is about Black women – including White Women.
— Sir Dickson (@Wizarab10) June 1, 2022
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