The interminable Depp-Heard trial has finally come to an end, with Depp emerging with a clear, smashing victory:
Johnny Depp won all three counts of his bombshell defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard Wednesday after a Virginia jury substantiated the claim that his ex-wife sullied his reputation and damaged his career when she wrote about becoming a "public figure representing domestic abuse" following the couple's split.
The panel of seven in Fairfax decided to award the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star a total $15 million in damages after deliberating for about 13 hours. The judge, however, capped the amount in damages he could receive at $350,000.
To clarify, the award was $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Only the latter was capped at $350,000, so he was awarded $10,350,000... and then $2 million was deducted from that for Heard's counterclaim against Depp (she had ultimately sought $100 million). That $2 million was awarded because the jury found truth in Heard's claim that Depp's lawyer had defamed her when he told the Daily Mail that she had set up a hoax for Depp in 2016.
So Depp will ultimately walk away with $8,350,000 and who knows how much in lawyer fees.
Legal math is hard.
Depp had brought the trial against Heard over an article she wrote four years ago:
Depp, 58, had sued Heard for $50 million over her 2018 Washington Post essay in which she wrote about facing "our culture's wrath" for speaking out against a powerful man — a warning that seemingly became more prescient with the jury's decision. ...
"My goal is the truth," he said on April 19. "One day you're Cinderella and then in zero point six seconds you're Quasimodo. I didn't deserve that and neither did my children."
Heard, meanwhile, was understandably not happy:
"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," Heard said in a statement after the verdict. ...
"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," she said.
I'm not sure it's that bad, but in either case I think we're all glad this thing is finally ending.
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