While the jury in the verdict sided more with Depp, it still ruled that Depp defamed Heard in the course of fighting back against her charges
HOLLYWOOD star Johnny Depp issued a lengthy statement celebrating the verdict in his lawsuit against Amber Heard.
The “Aquaman” star has to now pay $15 million (R233m) in damages to Depp ($10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages) after the jury ruled that she defamed Depp when she wrote a 2018 Washington Post op-ed alluding to her past claims of domestic violence, reports “Variety”.
While the jury in the verdict sided more with Depp, it still ruled that Depp defamed Heard in the course of fighting back against her charges.
The jury awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages for her counterclaim.
“From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome,” Depp said following the verdict.
“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.”
He said: “I am and I 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.”
He ended the statement with: “The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun.”
Fans commented on his post and other social media platforms.
Sara Longford wrote: “I knew from the very beginning you were innocent. Supported you from day one. Hope you manage to get your life back on track now, and that certain companies who turned their backs on you come forward with a public apology. We love you, Johnny.”
On Twitter, @mrgangster21 wrote: “He did it damn it. He did it… #JusticeForJohhnyDepp #JohnnyDepp #AbuseHasNoGender”
@QueenAfshan_ tweeted: “Amber told Johnny Depp to tell the world that he, a man, was a victim of domestic violence and see who is gonna believe him. The whole world believes him. Today he won ❤️ #JohnnyDepp #AmberHeard”
Depp was not in attendance at the Virginia courthouse when the verdict was read. The actor is in the UK.
While Depp celebrated the verdict, Heard slammed the decision.
“The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” she said.
“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 said: “I’m even more disappointed with what his 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 by publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously.”
Heard added: “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.”
Fans of the actress showed their support.
@_taintedwishes_ wrote: “if Amber Heard has a million haters im one of them, if she has a thousand haters im one of them, and if she has one it’s me, if she has zero im dead, and if the world is for her, then im against the world.”
@a_mberheard in reply to @realamberheard wrote: “You were so amazing and strong these last few days! I’m very proud of you and I didn’t stop praying and defending you every day! I never get tired of saying how wonderful you are and how much I love you. YOU ARE HEARD! I’ve never been as proud of anyone as I am of you!”