Johnny Depp 'truly humbled' by verdict in Amber Heard defamation case

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Johnny Depp is "truly humbled" by the result of his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard.

Over the past six weeks, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor and Aquaman actress have been in court in Fairfax, Virginia for the trial, with Depp suing Heard for defamation for referring to herself as "a public figure representing domestic abuse" in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed, and Heard countersuing him in relation to his then-lawyer Adam Waldman calling her abuse allegations a "hoax".

On Wednesday, the seven-person jury reached a verdict in the case, with them finding Heard liable for defaming Depp and awarding him $10 million (£8 million) in compensatory damages and $5 million (£4 million) in punitive damages in relation to the lawsuit.

Reacting to the decision, Depp issued a statement in which he reflected on the impact the lengthy case has had on his life.

"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," he commented. "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 went on to note that he decided to pursue the case despite the legal hurdles and spotlight on his personal life.

"From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome... I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that," the 58-year-old continued, before concluding: "The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun. Veritas numquam perit. Truth never perishes."

In addition, the jury found that Depp defamed Heard on one of three counts relating to a statement made by his former attorney.

The 36-year-old was awarded $2 million (£1.6 million) in compensatory damages but nothing in punitive damages.

In response, Heard declared that she was "heartbroken" about the result.

"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," she stated. "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'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."

Depp and Heard were married between 2015 and 2016.

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