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02nd Jun 2022

Amber Heard says Johnny Depp trial verdict is a ‘setback’ for women

“The disappointment I feel today is beyond words.”

Amber Heard has said the jury’s verdict in her multi-million dollar defamation trial against Johnny Depp has “set back the clock for women.”

On Wednesday evening, the jury ruled in Depp’s favour in the trial, unanimously concluding that Heard had defamed the Pirates of the Caribbean star with a 2018 op-ed she wrote in the Washington Post.

After deliberating for approximately 12 hours and 45 minutes, they concluded that Heard had defamed Depp with the article.

The jury found ‘yes’ in answer to each question asked to them, finding that Heard’s statements about her marriage were “false” and conveyed “a defamatory implication” to people other than Depp.

They also found she acted with “actual malice”.

In a statement following the verdict, she said: “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.”

The jury awarded Depp $10m (£8m) in compensatory damages and $5m in punitive damages.

They did find that Depp defamed Heard on one occasion, but that this was through his attorney Adam Waldman, and only in one of three counts.

She was awarded $2m in compensatory damages and nothing in punitive damages.