A jury awarded Johnny Depp more than $10m last night in his libel lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard, vindicating his stance that Heard fabricated claims that she was abused by Depp before and during their brief marriage.
The jury also found Heard was defamed by a lawyer for Depp who accused her of creating a detailed hoax, that included roughing up their apartment to look worse for police. The jury awarded her $2m in damages.
The verdicts bring an end to a televised trial that Depp had hoped would help restore his reputation, though it turned into a spectacle of a vicious marriage. Throughout the trial, fans – overwhelmingly on Depp’s side – lined up overnight for coveted courtroom seats.
Spectators who couldn’t get in gathered on the street to cheer Depp and jeer Heard whenever they appeared.
Heard, who was stoic in the courtroom as the verdict was read, said that she was heartbroken.
“I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It’s a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly humiliated.
“It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously,’’ she said in a statement posted on her Twitter account.
Depp, who was not in court for the verdict, said “the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.
“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,” he said in a statement posted to Instagram.
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