The Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard defamation trial in Fairfax County, Virginia, took over our social media feeds for almost seven weeks. Depp alleged Heard, his ex-wife, had defamed him in connection with an opinion piece she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018, saying she is a “public figure representing domestic abuse” who spoke out against “sexual violence.” Depp sued heard, on three different counts, claiming that the piece has cost him in terms of his reputation and career, totaling an estimated damage of around $50 million.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star has been embroiled in the controversy since ex-wife Amber Heard filed a lawsuit against him in 2016. In his testimony, the actor described how the entire ordeal had left him “broken.”
Recently, more than 6,000 pages of the court documents used in the defamation case involving Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have been made public. According to some major media outlets, Heard’s legal team claimed she had to incur financial losses in the “$47–$50 million” range over a “3-5 year period” because of Depp’s defamatory statements against her. Additionally, Heard’s team argued that she was “similar” to actors like Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, Zendaya, Ana de Armas, and Chris Pine in terms of her stature as an actor.
While the jury’s verdict unanimously sided with Johnny Depp, awarding him a win on all three counts, the newly-unsealed court documents show that Heard walked away from “tens of millions of dollars” by refusing to accept Depp’s money which he earned off the fifth installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie. Since they were not divorced when the sequel was shot, it would be considered a “community property asset”, undeniably making Heard the rightful claimant of half of the income proceedings.
Johnny Depp earned US$33 million on the fourth “Pirates” movie, so he probably earned the same amount or possibly more on the fifth one. With the divorce proceedings underway at that time, Heard chose not to accept the money, and none of the evidence related to this was made a part of the trial.
As per media personnel, the unsealed documents also reveal that Depp’s team fought to keep Marilyn Manson’s name out of the defamation trial. Depp’s team argued that, “references to and evidence regarding Marilyn Manson” would “smear Mr. Depp under a guilty by association theory.”
Heard’s lawyers wanted the judge to dismiss that Depp’s team apparently planned to bring up and use against Heard a variety of “irrelevant personal matters.”
The team behind Heard claimed, “Mr. Depp inappropriately seeks to introduce evidence” that included “(1) nude pictures of Amber Heard; (2) Amber Heard’s sister Whitney’s reality show video; (3) Whitney and Amber’s past romantic relationships; (4) Amber’s brief stint as an exotic dancer years before she met Mr. Depp and Mr. Depp attempting to frivolously and maliciously suggest or imply that Ms. Heard was at one time an escort.”
Do you think any unseen documents can change the global opinion about Amber Heard? Tell us your point of view!
The defamation trial was concluded on June 1, and Heard was found guilty on all three counts Depp alleged. She was ordered to pay US$10.35 million in damages (US$10 million in compensatory damages and US$350,000 in punitive damages) to actor Johnny Depp. The jury declared that she defamed Depp in an op-ed she penned for the Washington Post, insinuating herself to be a victim of domestic violence.
While the jury was more supportive of Depp, it was still noticed by the law that Depp defamed Heard in the course of fighting back against her charges. The jury decided to award Heard US$2 million as compensatory damages for her counterclaim.
The case was live streamed by millions across the globe, making it the biggest celebrity trial to be publicly aired. It was also found, later, that over 600+ Twitter users targeted, trolled and harassed Amber Heard on social media. As per sources, it was “one of the worst cases of cyberbullying and cyberstalking by a group of Twitter accounts” against Amber Heard and her supporters. While the report clearly showed a targeted campaign was run against Amber Heard, public sympathy still seems to stay with the world’s most loved pirate, Johnny Depp.