Verdict in Johnny Depp, Amber Heard Trial

June 1, 2022
A Judge's Gavel

Question: ‘Do you find that Mr. Depp has proven all the elements of defamation?’ Answer: ‘Yes.’

The jury’s verdict being read in the Amber Heard-Johnny Depp defamation trial. The jury ruled in favor of all of Depp’s defamation claims, and in favor of one out of three of Heard’s counter defamation claims (pertaining to comments made by Depp’s lawyer).
  • Background: Actor and actress Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were married from 2015-2016. In 2018, Heard wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post, describing herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." Following the article's publication, Depp sued Heard for libel for $50 million — claiming Heard was the perpetrator of domestic violence, rather than the victim.
    • In 2021 Heard filed a counterclaim saying she was defamed, and suing Depp for $100 million. They both accused each other of destroying their careers.
  • The Trial: Since the trial's beginning in April, the jury has heard over 100 hours of testimony from several witnesses, including Heard and Depp.
    • Looking at both suits filed by Heard and Depp, the jury had to decide whether or not the statements made by either of them were made with actual malice — "reckless disregard for the truth."

End Result: After deliberating for approximately 12 hours across three days in a court in Fairfax, Virginia, the jury reached its verdict Wednesday. The jury ruled in favor of Depp in all three of his defamation claims, while also ruling in favor of one of Heard's three claims — in which Heard said she was defamed by one of Depp's lawyers "who accused her of creating a detailed hoax that included roughing up their apartment to look worse for the police" (Associated Press).

Depp (who was not in the courtroom when the verdict was read, due to work commitments) will be awarded $10.35 million, and Heard is to be awarded $2 million.

They both released statements via social media following the reading of the verdict. Click HERE to read Depp's statement, and HERE to read Heard's.

Depp awarded $10M, Heard $2M in split libel lawsuit verdict (Associated Press)

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial: Summary and timeline (NBC News)

Jury has reached a verdict in Johnny Depp, Amber Heard trial (CNN)

by Jenna Lee,