Amber Heard says she's 'heartbroken' after the jury's verdict in her trial against Johnny Depp: 'I'm sad I lost this case'

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  • Amber Heard said she's heartbroken over the verdict in her defamation trial against Johnny Depp.

  • The jury found both Depp and Heard liable for defaming each other, awarding millions to both.

  • Heard added that the verdict was a "setback" for women and free speech.

Amber Heard said in a statement Wednesday that she's "sad" and "heartbroken" after a jury found her liable for defaming Johnny Depp.

Jurors found both Depp and Heard liable for defaming each other in a verdict reached Wednesday, which awarded Depp $15 million in damages from Heard and Heard $2 million in damages from Depp.

In a statement shared on Twitter after the verdict, Heard said the "disappointment I feel today is beyond words."

"I am 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," Heard said in the statement. "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."

In the statement, the actor added that she believed Depp'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."

Depp lost a libel case against the British newspaper The Sun in the UK in 2020 over an article that described him as a "wife-beater."

"I'm sad I lost this case," Heard said in her statement. "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 appeared upset as the jury read the verdict in Depp's defamation case against her. She and one of her lawyers hugged for an extended moment after the verdict was read.

An image of
Johnny Depp and Heard.John Phillips/UK Press via Getty Images

The jury's verdict found both Depp and Heard liable for defaming each other

Jurors found that Heard defamed Depp when she described herself as a victim of domestic abuse in a 2018 op-ed published in The Washington Post. They found that Heard's statements in the article were made with "actual malice." The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, though the judge overseeing the case lowered the latter amount to $350,000, in accordance with Virginia law.

Jurors also found Depp liable for defamation against Heard because of a statement made by one of his attorneys, who characterized her allegations of sexual abuse as a "hoax." They awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages from Depp and $0 in punitive damages.

Depp sued Heard in March 2019, filing a $50 million defamation lawsuit against her three months after the Washington Post op-ed was published. While she did not name him in the op-ed, Depp's lawyers said in the lawsuit that it was "plainly" about him. Depp also alleged in the lawsuit that Heard was a "perpetrator" of domestic abuse.

In response to the lawsuit, Heard accused Depp of physically assaulting her during their relationship. She filed a counterclaim against Depp in August 2020, asking for $100 million in damages and accusing him of defamation.

The trial concluded Wednesday after six weeks of testimony from Heard, Depp, friends, and other public figures with close ties to the ex-couple, including the British model Kate Moss and Heard's former friend Raquel Pennington. The jury reached a verdict in just three days.

Depp, who was not present in court for the verdict, issued a statement shortly after the verdict was read, saying the jury gave him "his life back" and that he was "truly humbled."

Read the original article on Insider