Johnny Depp wins multimillion-dollar US defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard

Johnny Depp has won his multimillion-dollar US lawsuit against former wife Amber Heard after a jury ruled her 2018 article in the Washington Post was defamatory.

Mr Depp sued the Aquaman star for 50 million dollars over the piece, titled: “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.”

The article does not mention Mr Depp by name, yet his lawyers said it falsely implied he physically and sexually abused Ms Heard while they were together.

Following six weeks of evidence and roughly 13 hours of deliberation, jurors returned a verdict in favour of Mr Depp on Wednesday.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp

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The actor was awarded compensatory damages of 10 million dollars (£8 million) and a further five million dollars (£4 million) in punitive damages.

Ms Heard was present for the verdict but Mr Depp was not, as a source confirmed that he was still in the UK.

The actress, who was sitting between members of her legal team at the front of the court room, looked downcast as the ruling was read out by the judge.

She had her head bowed and appeared to be listening intently to the verdict.

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In the past few days, the actor has made appearances on stage alongside musician Jeff Beck in Sheffield and London’s Royal Albert Hall.

At the time the verdict was returned, he was reported to be in the north east of England.

The actor had consistently denied the “outrageous, outlandish” claims of abuse and said he had “spoken up for what I have been carrying on my back reluctantly for six years” during his own evidence.

The court previously heard that descriptions of Mr Depp’s drug use and violence were exaggerated by Ms Heard and her legal team.

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The case was brought in Virginia rather than in California, where the actors live, because The Washington Post’s online editions are published through servers located in Fairfax County.

Witnesses have included family members, friends, colleagues, employees and other individuals including British supermodel Kate Moss, as well as both Mr Depp and Ms Heard.

During the course of the trial at Fairfax County District Court, legions of fans gathered outside in an attempt to enter the courtroom and observe proceedings.

Many lined up outside the courthouse in anticipation of the verdict and gave huge cheers as the verdicts were read out.

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