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After the Verdict, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Issue Statements

The lesson is don’t run your mouth with lies.

The Johnny DeppAmber Heard defamation trial that, for some reason, captured the county’s attention, is now over. On Wednesday, the jury rendered a verdict mostly in Depp’s favor and awarded the actor, writer, producer, director $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages..

The punitive damages award of $5 million was reduced by Judge Penney Azcarate to $350,000 which is the maximum amount allowed under Virginia law, which makes the sum now just over $10 million.

Both Depp and Heard have made statements after the trial ended.

“The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” Heard’s statement 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 added.

“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.”

Is she delusional? The verdict put everyone, not just women, but everyone, on notice that you can be sued and lose if it can be proven that you ran your mouth to defame someone and it cost them income. And that’s what happened here.

“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,” Heard continued. “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.”

Heard obviously doesn’t understand the concept of free speech. She was free to make the statements she did in the Op-Ed piece. She was not charged by the government for a criminal act over her speech. This was a civil case, not a criminal case. Further, you do not have the right to make false statements that cost people money.

Defamation of character, be it libel (written) or slander (spoken), is incredibly difficult to prove. There is a very high bar, especially for public figures. You have to first prove that what the person said was false. Then you have to prove that the person who said it knew that what they were saying was false. Then, if those two hurdles are met, you have to prove the person they defamed lost money because of the falsehood they said.

The jury also awarded Amber Heard $2 million in compensatory damages.

Depp also issued a statement from overseas once the verdict was announced.

“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,” his statement began.

“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. It had already traveled 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. My decision to pursue this case, knowing very well the height of the legal hurdles that I would be facing and the inevitable, worldwide spectacle into my life, was only made after considerable thought,” Depp added.

“From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. 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. I am, and 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. I wish to acknowledge the noble work of the judge, the jurors, the court staff and the sheriffs who have sacrificed their own time to get to this point, and to my diligent and unwavering legal team who did an extraordinary job in helping me to share the truth. The best is yet to come, and a new chapter has finally begun.”

“Veritas numquam perit. Truth never perishes.”

Depp filed a lawsuit against his ex-wife for $50 million, accusing Heard of defaming him in a 2018 Op-Ed piece she wrote for the Washington Post (where truth supposedly dies in the darkness) alleging she was the victim of domestic abuse.

Heard filed a countersuit against Depp for $100 million, accusing him and his former attorney of conspiring to “destroy and defame” her.

The jury’s verdict implies it did not believe Depp abused Heard during their relationship.

Once the case was handed over to the jury for deliberations, Depp left Virginia to go on tour with legendary guitarist Jeff Beck.

Rich Welsh

Rich is a conservative, syndicated opinion writer and owner of He writes about politics, culture, liberty, and faith.

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