Johnny Depp and Amanda Heard captivated the world in a manner not involving the magic of movies … in a sensationalized, back and forth defamation case full of real-life courtroom drama. Depp brough Heard to court charging that she damaged his reputation in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed piece where she claimed to be the victim of domestic violence. Heard then counter-sued, adding with more claims of abuse during their relationship.
Ultimately, the jury favored Depp and awarded him 15 million in damages while also finding partially for Heard and awarding her 2 million in damages. Depp won on all three of his claims of defamation while Heard only won on one of her three claims.
Defamation cases often come down to an issue of credibility and Johnny Depp overwhelmingly won that battle. He won over social media, the public, and the jury.
Heard’s credibility issues were self-inflicted. She was caught in an apparent lie about her promise to donate her divorce settlement to charity as well as staging press to report on injuries that were more the result of the Hollywood make-up room than Depp. This was exaggeration at best and the jury used it as a lens to disregard much of her testimony.
Johnny Depp is a charismatic individual and there is little doubt his star-power aided him with the jury. This can be a huge advantage in a courtroom and Depp’s team took advantage of it.
Hollywood can be a very forgiven place and I am sure we will see both of them back at work soon. Depp will have a much easier road and will continue to be the winner moving forward.
Heard looked to be the face of the MeToo movement but instead many will see her as the poster child of false allegations.
Brian S. Brijbag, Esq. is a Florida licensed lawyer who practices personal injury, health law, and business law. Serving the Nature Coast of Florida, Attorney Brijbag represents clients in Hernando, Pasco, and Citrus counties. (352) 358-5880