Depp v. Heard verdicts resonate inside and outside the courtroom

Posted at 11:29 PM, June 1, 2022 and last updated 6:26 PM, July 7, 2023

By Grace Wong

FAIRFAX, Va. (Court TV) — After nearly 13 hours of deliberation over three days – a jury of 5 men and 2 women returned verdicts that mostly favored Johnny Depp, holding Amber Heard liable for three out of three statements Depp claimed were defamatory in the Washington Post opinion piece she wrote in December of 2018. 


It was not a total loss for Heard. The jury found one of the three statements Adam Waldman made as Depp’s lawyer defamatory. 

The judge had to send the verdicts back after an initial review of their decision found they had not completed the damages portion of the verdict forms. 

Read More: Court TV Daily Highlights

After a short recess, the jury returned and awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages, and $5 million in punitive damages, though the punitive portion will be capped at $350k. The judge will make that correction before she enters the order on June 24. 

Actor Amber Heard stands with her lawyers Elaine Bredehoft and Benjamin Rottenborn before the verdict was read at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Va, Wednesday, June 1, 2022. The jury awarded Johnny Depp more than $10 million in his libel lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard. It vindicates his stance that Heard fabricated claims that she was abused by Depp before and during their brief marriage. But the jury also found in favor of Heard, who said she was defamed by a lawyer for Depp.(Evelyn Hockstein/Pool via AP)

The jury awarded Amber Heard $2 million for one of the statements published in the Daily Mail in April of 2020 that the jury found defamatory. Whether the award was by design or coincidence, $2 million is what Heard received for her role in Aquaman 2. 

Before the verdicts were read, several die-hard Depp fans were in the courtroom, while a contingent celebrated the verdict outside the courtroom.

Depp was not present for the verdict, but his legal team were all in the courtroom, including lead attorney Benjamin Chew, and co-counsel Camille Vasquez.  The team was elated hugging and congratulating one another. 

Amber and her sister Whitney left the courthouse escorted by deputies, while on most days she left to the sound of boos and jeers. This time, it was mostly silent, except for a lone voice who cried out, ‘How do you feel Amber?’  She did not respond. 

Her legal team, Elaine Bredehoft, Benjamin Rottenborn, and Adam Nadelhaft also left through the secured back entrance avoiding the gaggle of reporters at the front of the courthouse. 

Jurors were escorted out to a van and were transported out by deputies. The judge has ordered that their identities be sealed for one year.