American actor Johnny Depp is $15 million richer because his ex-wife chose to defame him with claims that he abused her.
Mr Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages in his defamation suit. The actor sued Heard for $50 million after the feminist in a 2018 article for The Washington Post claimed she suffered domestic abuse.
Heard, who starred as Queen Mera, in “Aquaman,” didn’t name the 58-year-old in the piece but previously accused him of abuse and described herself in the article as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Though Depp was not named in the article, he claims it cost him lucrative acting roles and sued his ex-wife for $50 million.
His ex-wife countersued him for defamation over statements made by Depp’s attorney about her abuse claims. She demanded a $100 million settlement for the defamation which stirred more drama about their back and forth.
In a verdict passed today after six weeks of hearings, the jury found that Heard defamed Depp in three separate statements in The Washington Post article, hence, awarded him the $15 million judgement.
The court also said that Depp through his lawyer’s comment defamed Heard with one statement. Accordingly, the jury awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages and no money for punitive damages.
According to a CNN report, the actress kept her eyes down as the verdict was read. Meanwhile, Depp who was not present in court released a statement that said, in part, “the jury gave me my life back.”
“From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me,” he said. “I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that.”
Depp’s attorneys thanked the jury and the court after the verdict was announced. Wednesday, adding that “it’s time to turn the page and look to the future.”