Amber Heard, the US actress, says she’s “sad” and “heartbroken” after a jury’s verdict found her liable for defaming her ex-husband Johnny Depp.
After six weeks of evidence in Depp’s high-profile libel trial against Heard, the jurors in Fairfax, Virginia, ruled in favour of the actor in the $50 million (€47 million) case on Wednesday evening.
Depp’s defamation suit against his celebrity ex-wife went to a trial, starting in Virginia on April 11 with jury selection.
The actor claimed a 2018 domestic violence piece written by Heard in The Washington Post had implied he was abusive.
Heard didn’t name the actor but Depp’s lawyers said her allegations made it difficult for him to land acting roles.
Giving its verdict, the judge awarded $15 million to Depp — comprising $10 million in compensatory damages and a further $5 million in punitive damages.
Heard, on the other hand, was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages but no money for punitive damages.
In her reaction shortly after the verdict, Heard said the “disappointment I feel today is beyond words.”
— Amber Heard (@realamberheard) June 1, 2022
In a statement shared via her Twitter page, the actress also argued that the verdict is a “setback for other women”.
“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 wrote.
“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.
“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.
“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.”