Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial: the jury has a verdict

Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial: the jury has a verdict

Called to deliberate since the end of the pleadings which took place this Friday, the seven jurors of the trial opposing Amber Heard to Johnny Depp delivered their verdict this Wednesday at 9 p.m. (French time).

The verdict is (finally) in. After six weeks of a trial that spared no scabrous details about their toxic relationship, Amber Heard and her ex-husband Johnny Depp are set on their fate: the jury considered that the actress had defamed Johnny Depp. She was ordered to pay her ex-husband $15 million ($10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages in his defamation suit). The jury also awarded Amber Heard $2 million in compensatory damages.

The actress was present in the courtroom when the verdict was announced, unlike Johnny Depp who had indicated earlier in the afternoon via his representatives that he would follow her on television from England , where he has gone to stay since the end of the pleadings. he was spotted in a pub in Newcastle hours before the verdict was read.

The crowd outside the court cheered when the verdict in favor of the actor was announced.

“Devastated”, the star of Aquaman confided his “inexpressible disappointment” just after the verdict, considering the court decision rendered, from another age. “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. I am heartbroken that the mountain of evidence is still not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence and sway of my ex-husband, Amber Heard said. I am even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It’s a setback. It harkens back to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It pushes back the idea that violence against women should be taken seriously,” she said.

“I believe Johnny’s lawyers were successful in getting the jury to ignore the key issue of free speech and to ignore the evidence which was so conclusive that we won in the UK (referring to the lawsuit against the Sun by Johnny Depp, and which the actor had not won, editor’s note). I’m sad to have lost this case. But I’m even sadder to have lost a right I thought I had as an American – to speak freely and openly.”

The actor also did not fail to express himself. “From the beginning, the goal in bringing this case was to uncover the truth, regardless of the outcome,” Johnny Depp said in a statement Wednesday. “Telling the truth was something I owed to my children and everyone who remained steadfast in their support of me. I feel at peace knowing that I have finally accomplished this,” added the man who had sworn “total humiliation” to his former companion.

The end of a sordid unpacking

The end of what has taken on the appearance of an ultra trashy television series has therefore sounded. Called to deliberate since the end of the pleadings which took place this Friday, the seven jurors, five men and two women, announced on Wednesday June 1 that they had found their verdict after twelve hours of cumulative deliberation during which they peeled the thirty-seven pages of very detailed questions that the judge had entrusted to them at the end of the last pleadings.

During the six-week trial, which began on April 11, the court in Fairfax, Virginia (and the whole world with it because the hearings were broadcast live) heard the two actors and their witnesses and experts recount a daily marked by particularly shocking episodes of physical and psychological violence, as well as drug and alcohol abuse that the actor has, with regard to the latter, himself admitted.

For the record, Amber Heard was sued by Johnny Depp who is claiming $50 million from her for implying that he had abused her in a 2018 Washington Post editorial, even though she did not name her ex-companion explicitly, since she had simply presented herself there as “a public figure representing domestic violence”.

Johnny Depp claims that these allegations have had a major negative impact on his career. Amber Heard has counterattacked for $100 million, championing freedom of speech and claiming her ex-husband defamed her when his lawyer said the assault and rape charges of which she accuses the actor were a “hoax”. This had resulted in a huge (not to say revolting in the era of #MeToo) wave of mockery and hatred against him, Johnny Depp’s fans being particularly numerous and active on social networks, a wave that made his a nightmare, she said, but also caused her to lose many contracts.

For the record, in a previous lawsuit filed by Johnny Depp against the Sun for calling him a “wife beater”, the charges brought by Amber Heard were deemed “likely” and the actor lost the case.

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