A verdict has been reached regarding the recent Johnny Depp and Amber Heard court case, where Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Meanwhile, Heard was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages. 

Heard sued Depp for $50m, claiming that he was defamed in her 2018 op-ed published in The Washington Post, titled: “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath.” That has to change. Although he was not named in the written piece, he claims it made it difficult for him to obtain lucrative work. Then, Heard countersued for $100 million, citing defamation over abuse claims made against her by Depp’s attorney.

Three separate statements Heard made in the op-ed were found to be defamatory, while one statement by Depp’s attorney was found to have defamed Heard. These conclusions were reached following more than 100 hours of testimony from witnesses. 

Upon receiving the verdict on May 24th, Depp and Heard both provided statements in court. “Humbled” Depp thanked the jury for “giving him his life back”, and relished the start of “a new chapter”. He emphasized that his goal in the case was to reveal the truth, and ended his statement with “truth never perishes.” Heard described her disappointment and “heartbreak” and cited the verdict as a “setback” for other women. She laments her defeat in the case but feels more saddened by her loss of “the right to speak freely and openly [as an American]”. 

Heard has decided to appeal the verdict, as her lawyer revealed that the actress could not pay the large amount to Depp. Nevertheless, appealing the verdict could result in even more legal fees for Heard. 

Although a verdict has been reached in court, its effects are still to be seen — what impact will the verdict have? Has Depp successfully cleared his reputation and saved his career with this win? 

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