Jury reaches verdict in Depp-Heard trial

(CREDIT: Shutterstock)

After almost a month of exhausting and sometimes triggering testimony, the 7-person jury who has been hearing the case between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, has returned with a verdict.

The verdict was unanimously found in favor of Johnny Depp on all counts of defamation. 

Fairfax, Virginia, County Circuit Judge Penney Azcarate and a jury of seven have been hearing testimony regarding alleged abuse at the hands of both Depp and Heard against each other as Depp is suing her for $50 million over a December 2018 op-ed she published in the Washington Post (which is published in Fairfax County outside Washington) claiming to be a victim of domestic abuse, which he denies. Heard is counter-suing for $100 million. 

The Jury believed that Johnny Depp proved defamation on each and every count of the 7 complaints he has brought to trial. They concluded that Heard acted in actual malice, awarding Depp $15 million in damages.

In the counterclaim against Depp, the jury found in favor of Depp as well, however, they awarded $2 million in damages to Heard for 1 out of 3 defamatory statements they found were made out of actual malice. 

The courtroom drama played for the entire world as it was televised by Court TV. We saw testimony from several witnesses including Depp and Heard. 

Clinical psychologist Laurel Anderson

Anderson is the former marriage counselor for Depp and Heard. She testified that the couple engaged in “mutual abuse” which was almost always instigated by Heard. Depp had been “well controlled” for decades before meeting Heard, Dr Anderson said, and did not engage in violence with past partners. “With Ms Heard, he was triggered. They engaged in what I saw as mutual abuse,” she told the jury.

Forensic psychologist Dr Shannon Curry

Curry told jurors she believed Amber Heard suffered from twin diagnoses: borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder and said she had reached her conclusion after spending about 12 hours with Heard in December 2021, conducting mental health tests and reviewing her medical records. 

Psychologist Dr Dawn Hughes

Hughs rejected Curry’s diagnoses and instead claimed Heard suffered from PTSD caused by “intimate partner violence by Mr Depp”.

Johnny Depp

Depp Denied Heard’s claims and said he had “never struck Ms Heard in that way, nor have I struck any woman in my life”.

Instead, Depp alleged that he suffered at the hands of Heard, who abused and demeaned him, testifying, “It could begin with a slap, it could begin with a shove. it could begin with throwing a TV remote at my head,” he said. “She [Heard] has a need for conflict, she has a need for violence. It erupts out of nowhere”.

Depp described the horrific incident in Australia when the tip of his finger was severed allegedly by Heard when she allegedly threw a vodka bottle at him which smashed on top of his finger. 

Surgeon Dr. Richard Moore

Moore disputed Depp’s account, saying his description of events was unlikely, in large part because his fingernail remained intact. Moore believes that if the events occurred as Depp explained, then the fingernail would have also been damaged.

REELated: Summer Movie Guide: 2022 Edition

Amber Heard

Heard told some horrifying stories about physical and sexual abuse, detailing an alleged incident which happened during the same time Depp’s finger was severed. She claims Depp sexually assaulted her with a bottle.

She also admitted to hitting him on one occasion because she allegedly feared for her sister’s life, believing that he would throw her down the stairs like he did to former girlfriend Kate Moss. 

“I just, in my head, instantly think of Kate Moss and the stairs and I swung at him,” Heard testified.

Kate Moss

Depp’s legal team was thrilled to see Heard mention Moss so they could call her to the stand. Moss told the court that Depp never pushed her down the stairs.

“There had been a rainstorm and as I left the room I slid down the stairs and I hurt my back,” Moss said. “He came running back to help me and carried me to my room and got me medical attention.”

“He never pushed me, kicked me or threw me down any stairs,” Moss testified.

The Verdict

Amber Heard released a statement on Twitter:

“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,” her tweet begins. Read below:

Shortly after, Depp released a 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.

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.

I am, and have been, overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and the colossal support and kindness from around the world. I hope that my quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my situation, and that those supporting them never give up. I also hope that the position will now return to innocent until proven guilty, both within the courts and in the media.

I wish to acknowledge the noble work of the Judge, the jurors, the court staff and the Sheriffs who have sacrificed their own time to get to this point, and to my diligent and unwavering legal team who did an extraordinary job in helping me to share the truth.

The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun.

Veritas numquam perit.
Truth never perishes.

Now that this court case is over, we can all get back to our own lives. It remains unclear what is in store for Heard and Depp in the future, but we know that Heard is appearing briefly in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which comes out in 2023 and Depp is doing voice work for the upcoming animated series Puffins and is currently working on Jeanne du Barry with Maïwenn who is both directing and starring in the film.

Follow us on our new Instagram Page!


Joia DaVida reports on the entertainment industry in both Chicago and Los Angeles.