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02nd Jun 2022

Johnny Depp sought $50m in damages but won’t even get the $15m he was awarded

Steve Hopkins

The actor won’t even get a fifth of what he was seeking

Johnny Depp was awarded £15 million in his defamation case victory against Amber Heard, but the actor will not get the full amount.

On Wednesday, a jury in Fairfax, Virginia found Depp’s ex-wife had defamed him and awarded him £10m in compensatory damages and $5m in punitive damages.

Depp had sought $50m and was suing Heard over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she described herself as a victim of domestic violence. While she did not name the Pirates of the Caribbean star, he believes it could be inferred that he was the perpetrator and stopped him from getting work. Heard counter-sued for $100m.

After the verdict the judge in the case being heard in Fairfax, Virginia, Penney Azcarate reduced the punitive damages amount to $350,000 to meet Virginia’s statutory limit for the awards.

A jury found Depp was also liable for defamation and awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages. Heard has since announced she will appeal the verdict.

Given Heard also received damages, Depp will only walk away from the case with around $8m.

Heard made clear she was not satisfied with the result in a statement released following the verdict, describing herself as “disappointed” and arguing there was a “mountain of evidence” to back up her claims.

Depp meanwhile, was seen drinking at a Newcastle pub.

Heard appeared upset as the jury read the verdict and in a statement afterward she said she was “sad” and “heartbroken”.

The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” she said in a statement shared on Twitter.

“I am heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband.”

“I’m sad I lost this case,” Heard continued. “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.”

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