Johnny Depp wins defamation case against Amber Heard
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Johnny Depp secured a victory against his ex-wife Amber Heard after he won his defamation lawsuit. Depp sued Heard for $50m for implying he abused her in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed.
Although the Aquaman actress didn’t name him, he claims her allegations impacted his ability to work and Heard later pursued a $100m counterclaim.
After a six-week trial and 13 hours of deliberation, a jury ruled in favor of the Pirates of the Caribbean actor on Wednesday, awarding him a total of $15m.
Appearing on the Today Show to discuss the verdict, Elaine Bredehoft slammed the result as a “setback” for women who have spoken out against domestic abuse.
When asked if the Aquaman actress – who was awarded $2m in her countersuit – would be able to pay the damages, the attorney replied: “Oh no, absolutely not.”
Bredehoft also said that the 36-year-old will “absolutely” be appealing the verdict, telling the host: “She has excellent grounds for it.
“We had even tried to get the UK judgement in to dismiss his case, because he already had his shot, and that’s one of the issues. But also a number of the evidentiary issues, there was so much evidence that did not come in.
“The court found there, and we weren’t allowed to tell the jury this, but the court found that Mr Depp had committed at least 12 acts of domestic violence, including sexual violence, against Amber.
“We had an enormous amount of evidence that was suppressed in this case, that was in the UK case.”
Heard’s lawyer also addressed the actress’ reaction following the verdict.
Bredehoft said: “One of the first things she said is, I am so sorry to all those women out there.
“This is a setback. For all women in and outside the courtroom. And she feels the burden of that.”
Following the lengthy trial, the jury awarded Depp $10m in compensatory damages and a further $5m in punitive damages, bringing a total of $15m, but has since been reduced.
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Reacting to the verdict moment after leaving court, Heard said in a statement: “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 out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously.”
She continued: “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.
“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.”
Depp skipped the court appearance to party in the UK, and added in his own statement: “Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also, the lives of the people who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed.
“All in the blink of an eye. False, very serious and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me. It had already traveled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career.
“And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.”
He went on: “My decision to pursue this case, knowing very well the height of the legal hurdles that I would be facing and the inevitable, worldwide spectacle into my life, was only made after considerable thought.
“From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. 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.”
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