Amber Heard reacted to a jury’s decision to side with ex-husband Johnny Depp in his defamation lawsuit against her, saying Wednesday she was deeply disappointed and “heartbroken.”
“The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. 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,” Heard said in a statement released minutes after the verdict was read in Virginia’s Fairfax County Circuit Court.
“I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women,” Heard continued. “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.”
The seven-person jury awarded Depp some $15 million in damages in his lawsuit against Heard. (The jurors awarded Heard $2 million in damages.) Heard was stoic as the verdict was announced.
The root of the trial was an op-ed Heard published in The Washington Post in 2018 in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Heard did not identify Depp by name in the essay.
Depp sought $50 million in damages from Heard, alleging she defamed him; Heard countersued for $100 million, alleging Depp defamed her when one of his lawyers called her abuse allegations a “hoax.”
“I’m sad I lost this case,” Heard said at the conclusion of her statement. “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.”
In a separate statement, Depp said that “the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.”
“False, very serious and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me. It had already traveled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career,” Depp said.
“My decision to pursue this case, knowing very well the height of the legal hurdles that I would be facing and the inevitable, worldwide spectacle into my life, was only made after considerable thought,” he added.
“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. I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that,” he said.
Depp concluded his statement with the Latin expression “Veritas numquam perit,” or “Truth never perishes.”