Today, the seven-person jury that was assigned to the defamation trial of Depp v. Heard issued its decision after hearing evidence for a total of six weeks and deliberating for a total of three days. The jury came to the conclusion that both parties were responsible for defamation after reaching a unanimous judgement. However, the jury seemed to side more closely with Depp, as they awarded him $15 million in damages while only handing Heard $2 million in damages. Johnny Depp was watching the proceedings from the United Kingdom, where he just went for “business obligations.” While Amber Heard was present at the courtroom in Fairfax County, Virginia, to hear the decision, Johnny Depp was watching the proceedings from the United Kingdom.
An opinion piece that Heard published for The Washington Post in 2018 in which she defined herself as “a public figure representing domestic violence” had a significant role in the outcome of the trial. Heard’s legal team argued that the implication was strong enough that it negatively affected Depp’s ability to land movie roles, and in 2020 they filed a defamation suit seeking $50 million in damages. Although Heard did not mention Depp by name, his legal team argued that it negatively affected Depp’s ability to land movie roles. The year after that, Heard filed a countersuit for $100 million.
On the set of the 2011 movie “The Rum Diary,” Depp and Heard had their first encounter, which marked the beginning of a stormy relationship that would eventually lead to their marriage in 2015. However, in May of 2016, Heard filed for divorce and was granted a temporary restraining order against Depp. Later on in same year, the couple issued a joint statement in which they admitted that their relationship had been “volatile” and revealed that they had reached an agreement over their divorce.
In 2018, Johnny Depp filed a lawsuit against the executive editor of the British newspaper The Sun, Dan Wootton, as well as the parent company of The Sun, News Group Newspapers, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch. The lawsuit was in response to an article that was published in The Sun that referred to Depp as a “wife-beater.” The article was based on allegations that were made by Amber Heard at the time she filed for the restraining order against Depp. In the year 2020, a highly publicised court proceeding that lasted for three weeks in London resulted in the court eventually finding in favour of The Sun. After Johnny Depp’s subsequent appeal was denied, the production company for the picture, Warner Bros., asked him to resign from his part in the Fantastic Beasts film series. Depp complied with this request and left the franchise shortly afterwards.
The contentious decision to livestream the most recent trial, which started in April in Virginia, led to it becoming both a media circus and a phenomenon on social media. Many people found that footage from the proceedings was practically impossible to avoid on a number of platforms, including Twitter and TikTok. The army of Depp supporters who have been flooding the pages of those who are testifying on favour of Heard as well as individual social media users who are speaking adversely about Depp with the hashtag #JusticeForJohnnyDepp has been the most prominent aspect of this whole situation. During this time, Depp’s attorney Camille Vasquez rose to online fame due to the harsh lines of questions she asked during Heard’s cross-examination.