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Amber Heard issues ‘heartbroken’ statement after losing Johnny Depp case and confirms she’ll appeal

Lily Wakefield June 2, 2022
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Amber Heard

Amber Heard waits before the jury announced the verdict in the Depp v Heard civil defamation trial. (AFP via Getty/ POOL/ EVELYN HOCKSTEIN)

Amber Heard is planning to appeal the verdict in Johnny Depp’s defamation case against her, after a jury ruled in his favour on Wednesday (1 June).

Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for $50 million over a 2018 op-ed in which she discussed being a victim of abuse. Although she did not name Depp, he said that she had defamed him.

Following a lengthy trial at Virginia’s Fairfax County district courthouse which began on 11 April and was covered by media around the globe, the seven-person jury sided largely with Depp. It also ruled in favour of one claim in Heard’s countersuit against Depp.

Shortly after the verdict, Heard’s spokesperson Alafair Hall told The New York Times that Heard planned to appeal.

Heard also released a statement, in which she said: “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. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke up could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women should be taken seriously.”

Heard referenced the 2020 UK high court judgement in a separate defamation case, when Depp sued The Sun for describing him as a “wife beater”.

Both Heard and Depp testified in London, and Depp lost the case, with the court finding that there was “overwhelming evidence” that Heard’s abuse allegations were “substantially true”.

“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,” Heard continued.

“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.”

 

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Amber Heard has been ordered to pay Johnny Depp more than $10 million

The jury said that Heard should pay her ex-husband $15 million in damages, comprised of $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.

However, the judge said that state law does not allow for punitive damages above $350,000, meaning Depp’s total award is $10.35 million.

A verdict was also reached in Heard’s $100 million countersuit, in which she claimed that Depp’s defamation suit was a continuation of “abuse and harassment” against her.

The jury only ruled in favour of one of her claims, relating to Depp’s lawyer describing her abuse allegations as a “hoax”, and she was awarded $2 million.

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