"Setback": Amber Heard On What Defamation Ruling Means For Other Women

Amber Heard, her eyes downcast throughout, listened impassively, as the verdict was read out in Fairfax County Circuit Court near the US capital

'Setback': Amber Heard On What Defamation Ruling Means For Other Women

"The disappointment I feel today is beyond words," Amber Heard said in a statement.

Fairfax:

Actor Amber Heard said she was disappointed "beyond words" by the US jury's verdict in the defamation case her ex husband and actor Johnny Depp filed against her.

The jury Wednesday found both Depp and Heard liable for defamation -- but sided more strongly with the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star following an intense trial riding on bitterly contested allegations of domestic abuse.

"The disappointment I feel today is beyond words," Heard said in a statement. "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.

"I'm even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women," she said. "It is a setback. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously."

The five-man, two-woman jury, after deliberating over three days, found that Heard had defamed Depp in an op-ed piece, and awarded him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.

At the same time, the jury found that the 58-year-old Depp had made defamatory claims against the 36-year-old Heard and also awarded her compensatory damages -- but a much lower amount of $2 million.

Heard, her eyes downcast throughout, listened impassively, as the verdict was read out in Fairfax County Circuit Court near the US capital -- later declaring herself "heartbroken" by the outcome.

Depp, who has been in England for the past few days, was not in court for the verdict in the high-profile trial that hinged on lurid claims and counterclaims of domestic abuse between the Hollywood celebrities.

But in a statement he welcomed the verdict.

"The jury gave me my life back," he said. "From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome.

"The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun."

Depp filed suit against Heard over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse."

The Texas-born Heard, who had a starring role in "Aquaman," did not name Depp in the piece, but he sued her for implying he was a domestic abuser and sought seeking $50 million in damages.

Heard countersued for $100 million, saying she was defamed by statements made by Depp's lawyer, Adam Waldman, who told the Daily Mail her abuse claims were a "hoax."

Both needed to prove the statements were defamatory, and to win compensatory or punitive damages, the jury needed to find they were made with actual malice -- with knowledge that they were false or with "reckless disregard" for whether they were false or not.

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