Popular American actor Johnny Depp on Wednesday won a high-profile defamation case between him and his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
The jury in Fairfax, Virginia, began deliberating on this matter on last Friday.
Depp sued Heard for USD 50 million after she wrote an op-ed for 'The Washington Post' in 2018 in which she called herself a "public figure representing domestic abuse." Heard countersued Depp for USD 100 million in which said she claimed that she has endured domestic violence during their 15-month marriage.
The jury has awarded Johnny Depp USD 15 million in damages. Amber Heard has also won part of her libel case against Johnny Depp over articles in a privately owned newspaper, in which Johnny Depp's former lawyer described her claims of domestic abuse as a hoax.
The jury has awarded Amber Heard USD 2 million in damages.
Soon after this verdict came out, Johnny Depp officially released a statement on his Instagram account which read, "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 travelled 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," Depp wrote.
"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," Depp said.
Depp mentioned, "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."
Depp said that the best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun. "Veritas numquam perit. Truth never perishes," he said.
On the other hand, Heard expressed disappointment over the verdict. She penned out a note on Twitter which read, "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."
"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," she said.
After several years of dating, Depp and Heard married in a very private ceremony in their home in Los Angeles in 2015. On May 23, 2016, Heard filed for divorce from Depp and obtained a temporary restraining order against the Oscar-nominated actor. She alleged that Depp had physically abused her during their relationship, and said it was usually while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
(With Inputs from ANI)