Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have accused each other of violent assault during their brief marriage – and have sued each other for defamation for millions in damages.
The jury has now found both parties guilty: Heard, 36, is to pay her 58-year-old ex-husband $15 million in damages, and Depp is to pay Heard $2 million in damages.
Amber Heard was deeply disappointed with the verdict. “The disappointment I feel today cannot be put into words,” Heard wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. The fact that the jury largely did not believe her despite a “mountain of evidence” breaks her heart. She also sees the verdict as a “step backwards” for other women in a similar situation.
“I’m sad that I lost the case. But I’m even sadder that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American – to speak freely and openly.”
Hollywood star Johnny Depp, in turn, thanked the jury and his legal team. “This jury gave me my life back,” Depp said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The goal of moving this process forward from the beginning was to get the truth out, no matter what the outcome. Telling the truth was something I owed to my children and to all those who have always supported me. Now that I’ve managed to do that, I feel inner peace within me.” A new chapter in his life has now begun for him. “The best is yet to come.”
During the six-week negotiations in Fairfax near Washington, the two Hollywood actors did a lot of dirty laundry.
Several hours in the process revolved around an incident in March 2015 in Australia, where Depp was filming the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. During a heated altercation between Depp and Heard at the home they rented, the tip of Depp’s right middle finger was severed.
According to Depp, that happened when his then-wife threw a vodka bottle at him. Heard denied this, saying Depp may have injured himself when he smashed a wall-mounted phone. Both agreed in court that Depp used his bloody finger to write mysterious insults on the walls, lampshades and mirrors of their temporary home.
Heard testified of the altercation that Depp threw a bottle and cans at her and threatened her with a smashed bottle. Finally, he raped her with another bottle by pushing it into her “over and over again” while threatening to kill her. Heard did not see a doctor afterwards.
faeces in bed
One of the most bizarre things discussed in court involved faeces that are said to have lain on Depp’s side of the marriage bed one day. Depp testified that human feces could be seen in a photo of it. Heard, on the other hand, spoke of a mishap for their Yorkshire terriers. One of them has had digestive problems since he once ate marijuana from Depp as a puppy.
Rumors that Heard’s ex-boyfriend, Tesla founder Elon Musk, and her film partner James Franco would testify in court were not confirmed. Still, there were several celebrities on the witness stand. Depp’s ex-girlfriend Kate Moss firmly denied an old rumor that the actor once pushed her down a flight of stairs.
That of Depp’s ex-girlfriend Ellen Barkin was less favorable than the British model’s statement. The US actress described the actor as jealous, domineering and drunk all the time.
Bodyguards, agents, managers, psychiatrists, doctors, friends and relatives of the former couple were also questioned in court. Alejandro Romero, the doorman at the time in the Los Angeles building where Depp and Heard lived in a luxury penthouse, probably spoke from the heart of many of the trial participants on the witness stand. “I’m really stressed out,” he said of Depp and Heard’s feud. “I don’t want anything to do with it anymore.”
A series of audio and video recordings of heated arguments between Depp and Heard, full of obscene insults, were played to the jury. In video captured by Heard, Depp could be seen yelling, smashing a glass closet door and downing a huge glass of red wine.
Both presented photos of injuries that the other is said to have taught them. Heard’s attorneys also shared photos of Depp purporting to show him passed out after excessive drinking or drug use.
Text messages were read from Depp to various people in which he crudely and rudely described what he wanted on Heard. Depp’s lawyers said the actor simply has a powerful writing style.
Fans as supporters and disruptors
Hundreds of Depp fans queued for hours every day of the trial to get one of the coveted seats on the courtroom gallery. Most of the time, they behaved, but during Heard’s testimony, Judge Penney Azcarate was forced to call for order. “If I hear another peep, I’ll have the gallery cleared,” she threatened.