Heard 'Heartbroken' by Verdict

Depp thanks jury for 'giving him his life back'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2022 5:13 PM CDT
Heard 'Heartbroken' by Verdict
Supporters of Johnny Depp listen as the verdict is announced in Depp's libel lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard outside the Fairfax County Courthouse Wednesday, June 1, 2022 in Fairfax, Va.   (AP Photo/Craig Hudson)

(Newser) – Amber Heard said she was "heartbroken" and disappointed "beyond words" Wednesday after a jury ruled in favor of Johnny Depp after a six-week defamation trial. "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," Heard said, per the New York Times. A Heard spokeswoman said she plans to appeal. The jury found that Depp had been defamed when Heard, his ex-wife, claimed to be a victim of domestic abuse, though it also found in favor of Heard on one of her counterclaims.

The verdicts "sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated," said Heard, who was vilified online during the trial. "It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously." She said Depp's lawyers had managed to get the jury to overlook the issue of freedom of speech—and evidence that caused Depp to lose a libel lawsuit in the UK two years ago, Deadline reports.

In a statement of his own, Depp thanked the jury for giving him his "life back," CBS reports. "From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome," the actor said. "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." The jury said Depp, who sued for $50 million, should receive $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. The judge, however, said Virginia caps punitive damages at $350,000 so the award totaled $10.35 million, the AP reports. Heard was awarded $2 million. (Read more Johnny Depp stories.)

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