The 58-year-old actor won all three defamation claims in the case against his 36-year-old ex-wife.
After a long-drawn battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, now, the verdict is out.
Johnny Depp won all three defamation claims in the case and was awarded $15 million in damages by a jury. Heard will only have to pay $10.35 million due to Virginia law capping punitive damages. Depp was found to have defamed her on one of three claims and as a result, she was awarded $2 million in damages.
Depp sued ex-wife Amber Heard for $50 million over a Washington Post op-ed in which she claimed to be a victim of domestic violence. Heard countersued for $100million.
The legal experts are deliberating over the verdict and what it implies.
The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million dollars in punitive damages. Heard was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages and no money for punitive damages. https://t.co/M2LE2DfpT1— CNN International (@cnni) June 2, 2022
"It is a strange result," lawyer and legal analyst Emily D. Baker told PEOPLE. "Johnny Depp won all three of his defamation claims, and Amber Heard won one of her counterclaims."
Family law attorney and former psychologist David Glass also agreed that it was "a very unexpected result," and that it's "relatively rare" for both sides to simultaneously have wins and losses in a case like this. "It means that the jury found that each of them were telling the truth enough to get their verdict," he told the outlet. "But it's clearly in favor of Johnny Depp because the jury just did not believe anything that Amber Heard had said — other than her expert saying that her career was slightly damaged."
About the damages awarded to both Depp and Heard, both the lawyers think that the jury has sent a message through it. Baker says that the damages awarded to Depp "spoke very loudly." "The punitive damages are the punishment damages, saying we don't like what you did. And that 5 million number is, I think, a message."
Baker noted that the punitive damages imply that the jury "did not believe" Heard. She added that when it came to Heard's countersuit brought against Depp, the jury awarded her $2 million in damages, "but zero in punitive." She said, "That I think was the loudest message the jury sent."
Glass says that the punitive damages awarded to Depp signifies that the jury felt that Heard "did this on purpose to try and hurt him."
Glass thinks that Depp's team did "a good job with his testimony in preparing him because he came off as a hurt child. And they talked about his own childhood upbringing to bring around some sympathy for him. And that was a brilliant move because they allowed him to act that way."
Whereas Heard's legal team "did the best they could. She wanted to tell her story. She told it in a very dramatic fashion. Perhaps she went too far in bringing up new stories that had never been brought up before, and perhaps that's what turned the jury. This case boiled down to one [volatile] relationship that lasted about a year and had allegations on both sides. So it's a very unusual, very unique case."
Speaking of the implications that this case and verdict will have, Glass says that he thinks that this case "sort of stands out as an outlier that I think will be talked about, but only in terms of it really doesn't fit the elements of defamation."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Tristan Fewings