Live Johnny Depp-Amber Heard verdict updates: Jury sides with Depp, awards $15 million
PR experts weigh in on Depp’s career after verdict
Less than an hour after Depp won his libel suit against Heard on Wednesday, he said in a statement that he felt “the jury gave me my life back.”
But will the jury’s decision help her resume her career in Hollywood? In the minds of some PR experts, that remains to be seen.
In interviews with NBC News on Wednesday, three public relations and crisis communications professionals said they were confident Depp could get his big-screen acting career back on track. Two other experts expressed more skepticism, pointing out that Depp’s stature in the entertainment industry had diminished before the trial even began and observing that a large part of the movie-going public will continue to believe that Depp subjected Heard to violence. physical over the years, regardless of the decision of the jury.
Howard Breuer, managing director of Newsroom Public Relations, a Los Angeles-based firm, said he thinks people in the industry will again approach the Depp collaboration with caution.
“I’m sure there will be factions in Hollywood who will be cautious as long as they know there are people out there who think Amber Heard was telling the truth,” Breuer said. “They will be careful.”
Learn more in the NBC story here.
Judge cuts Depp’s price
Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Penney Azcarate reduced the punitive damages the jury awarded Depp to $350,000, which is the state’s statutory cap, or legal limit, raising his total damages at $10.4 million.
Johnny Depp: ‘The jury gave me my life back’
In a statement, Depp celebrated his victory in his libel suit against Heard:
“Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the life of my loved ones, and also the lives of the people who, for many, many years, have supported me and believed in me, changed forever.
All in the blink of an eye.
False, very serious and criminal allegations were made against me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me. It had already circled the world twice in a nanosecond and had a seismic impact on my life and career.
And six years later, the jury gave me back my life. I’m really humble.
My decision to pursue this case, knowing full well the height of the legal hurdles I would face and the inevitable global spectacle in my life, was made only after careful consideration.
From the beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. Telling the truth was something I owed to my children and everyone who stood by me so steadfastly. I feel at peace knowing that I have finally accomplished this.
I am, and have been, overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and colossal support and kindness from around the world. I hope that my quest for the truth to be told has helped others, men and women, who have found themselves in my situation, and that those who support them will never give up. I also hope that the position will now revert to innocent until proven guilty, both in court and in the media.
I want to acknowledge the noble work of the judge, jurors, court staff and sheriffs who sacrificed their own time to make this happen, as well as my diligent and unwavering legal team who did an extraordinary job in helping me helping to share the truth.
The best is yet to come and a new chapter is finally beginning.
Veritas numquam perishes.
Truth never fails.”
Social media celebrates Depp’s win, but some express concern
Many social media outlets who have followed the Depp-Heard case closely jubilant after the verdict was read Wednesday afternoon, calling the decision “the best possible outcome” on platforms like Reddit.
“Overwhelmed with emotions right now! He did it ! So proud of him! It has been an honor to fight for truth and justice for the past 6 years. Finally, he got justice!! a person wrote on Twitter.
On Reddit, some celebrated by saying that justice is “alive and alive.”
On TikTok, the party continued, with only one user assignment a video of herself crying with joy with the text “He really won”. The comments section also celebrated the victory, with some writing “I’m so proud” and “Justice has been served”. Within 15 minutes, the video had amassed nearly 25,000 views.
But not all social media users celebrated the decision, with some worrying about what it could mean for future survivors of domestic abuse.
“[T]her case has set a horrific precedent for how victims of abuse will be treated by the court of public opinion in the future,” one person said. wrote.
Amber Heard reacts to the verdict: “I am heartbroken”
Heard released a statement Wednesday afternoon reacting to the jury’s siding with Depp:
“The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. I am heartbroken that the mountain of evidence was still not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence and sway of my ex-husband.
I am even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It’s a setback. It takes the clock back to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It pushes back the idea that violence against women should be taken seriously.
I believe Johnny’s lawyers succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of free speech and ignore the evidence that was so conclusive that we won in the UK.
I’m sad to have lost this case. But I’m even sadder to have lost a right I thought I had as an American – to speak freely and openly.
Jurors award $2 million to Amber Heard
The seven-person jury also awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages, but $0 in punitive damages.
Jury awards $15 million to Johnny Depp
The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages in his defamation lawsuit against Heard.
Depp wins libel suit against ex-wife Heard
A Northern Virginia jury sided with Johnny Depp on Wednesday afternoon, finding that ex-wife Amber Heard defamed him by alleging he had committed domestic violence.
Depp sued for $50 million in damages over a 2018 editorial essay in The Washington Post, in which Heard said she had become a “public figure representing domestic violence.”
Although the essay never mentioned Depp by name, his attorneys said it was indirectly referring to allegations she made against him during their 2016 divorce.
Verdict delayed because verdict form did not include damages
Judge Penney Azcarate sent the jurors back to the deliberation room on Wednesday, delaying the reading of the verdict, scheduled for 3 p.m.
It was not immediately clear whether the jurors had forgotten to complete all of their paperwork or whether the panel had yet to deliberate on damages for one side or the other.
The jurors deliberated for 13 hours
The seven-person panel deliberated for approximately 13 hours. They began Friday afternoon, deliberated all day Tuesday, and it was announced around 1:30 p.m. ET Wednesday that they had reached a verdict.
With no Depp appearance, fans dissipate
The crowd of Depp fans who had flooded the Northern Virginia courthouse during that trial were nowhere to be found on Wednesday.
Depp fans regularly lined up at 1 a.m. for seats at the trial or to cheer Depp on as he arrived every day.
But once word spread over the weekend that Depp had been to the UK, fans who lined the streets and shouted as his SUV drove in and out each day seemed to have stayed home.
Depp’s camp said the actor will follow up on the UK legal action on Wednesday afternoon.
Heard’s team rip Depp for ignoring verdict
A rep for Heard hit out at Depp for being out of the country on Wednesday afternoon, saying he took “his sneering and lack of seriousness on tour.”
Depp is in the UK on a previously scheduled work trip, his team said, and will not be in Northern Virginia when the verdict in his civil lawsuit against Heard is announced at 3 p.m. EDT.
“Your presence shows where your priorities are,” according to a statement from Heard’s camp. “Johnny Depp plays guitar in the UK while Amber Heard awaits a verdict in Virginia. Depp takes his sneer and lack of seriousness on tour.
Depp was on stage in Sheffield on Sunday, playing for guitarist Jeff Beck’s tour.
Social media users await news of the verdict
On social media platforms like Twitter and TikTok, users, many of whom followed the trial closely, expressed impatience with the verdict.
An overwhelming number of messages appear to support Johnny Depp, which has been the continuous tone of messages from listeners throughout the trial. Just before 2 p.m. ET, the “#JusticeForJohnnyDepp” hashtag started trending with over 40,000 tweets.
“The verdict is in. No matter what, JD won in the court of public opinion and that was the most important thing for him,” one person said. wrote.
Another person said they “applaud the strength and courage” Depp showed during the trial. “Someone who survived abuse and didn’t allow their name to be tarnished with lies,” the netizen said. wrote.
On TikTok, a video gained over 60,000 views in about 30 minutes. It showed the TikTok user covering his mouth with the text “I’M SO NERVOUS” written below.
Depp will not be present
Depp, who filed the libel suit against his ex-wife, will not be in court when the verdict is read Wednesday afternoon.
He had a previously scheduled work commitment and cannot be in the courtroom in Fairfax, Va., when jurors are due to reveal their verdict at 3 p.m. EDT, sources close to the actor said.
He will instead be monitoring the legal actions from the UK, where he was spotted over the weekend.
The actor gave a surprise musical performance at a concert on Sunday night at Sheffield Town Hall, about 40 miles southeast of Manchester, for guitarist Jeff Beck’s European tour.
In a video shared on social media, Depp could be seen playing guitar and singing a rendition of John Lennon’s classic “Isolation” that he and Beck released as their first single together in April 2020.
The jury has returned a verdict, and it should be read in about 90 minutes. Lawyers from both sides meet for the reading.
Wednesday marked the third day of deliberations.