Celebs react to Depp-Heard verdict
Johnny Depp emerged victorious in his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard Wednesday with a jury awarding the actor $15 million following a seven-week trial that included shocking allegations of abuse from the plaintiff and defendant.
Millions watched the trial on television, via social media and through numerous channels, gaining insight and opinion at every turn.
After sitting through arguments from both sides, the seven-member jury composed of five men and two women also ruled in favor of Heard, in part, finding that Depp defamed her through his attorney. The jury awarded her $2 million in compensatory damages.
Johnny Depp fans erupted in cheers as his lead lawyers, Ben Chew and Camille Vasquez, exited the courthouse and gave a brief statement.
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“Today’s verdict confirms what we had said from the beginning — that the claims against Johnny Depp are defamatory and unsupported by any evidence. We are grateful, so grateful to the jury for their careful deliberation, to the judge and the court staff,” Vasquez said.
Chew said his team was “truly honored” to represent Depp and “pleased the trial resonated for so many people in the public who value truth and justice.”
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Following the jury verdict, many celebs took to their own social media and other platforms to weigh in on the ruling.
“I am deeply happy that the truth has come out,” Sherilyn Fenn told Fox News Digital in a statement. “It is justice for the attack on John Christopher’s life. Let the healing begin.” Sherilyn included a red heart emoji in her response.
Fenn and Depp dated for 3½ years after reportedly meeting on the set of the 1985 student film “Dummies.”
Sharon Osbourne also reacted in real time to the verdict while making an appearance on Piers Morgan’s TalkTV show, telling the host she didn’t expect the outcome in her wildest dreams.
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“Wow, it wasn’t what I was expecting,” the ousted talk show star said. “I mean, I wanted Johnny to win, but I didn’t expect him to.”
Singer Jordan Pruitt, who has been a stout supporter of Depp during the ordeal, simply tweeted, “#TruthWins,” adding “#JohnnyDepp.”
Model Naomi Campbell left red heart emojis on Depp’s social media statement posted to Instagram as did actress Ashley Benson.
Professional game player Ninja tweeted: “Damn cannot wait for amber heard to ‘pledge’ the 15 million she now owes Depp.” That was in response to the pledge – in the millions – that Heard said she didn’t give to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) yet after saying she would be donating to the organization.
Meanwhile, fans appeared to think Amy Schumer seemingly stood with Heard when she took to Instagram on Wednesday to type out a quote from Gloria Steinem: “Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke … She will need her sisterhood.”
Fox News Digital has reached out to Schumer’s rep for comment.
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Depp, 58, has said he filed the $50 million defamation claim against his ex-wife, 36, to “clear his name” and recoup potential earnings he claims he lost from Hollywood due to Heard’s allegations.
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star said in his complaint that the actress defamed him in a 2018 op-ed she penned for the Washington Post that alleged she was the victim of domestic and emotional abuse without specifically naming Depp. Heard identified herself in the piece as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Actor Johnny Depp and Amber Heard at premiere of "Black Mass" in 2015.
( Reuters/Fred Thornhill TPX)
During the trial, Heard also accused the “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” performer of conspiring with his lawyer, Adam Waldman, to defame her by calling her allegations of abuse a hoax in three statements to the press. Judge Penney Azcarate reduced Depp’s punitive damages award from $5 million to $350,000 due to Virginia state law.
Heard said in a statement following the verdict she is “heartbroken” by the outcome.
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“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 her statement.
“I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. 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.
Johnny Depp won his defamation case against Amber Heard with a jury awarding him $15 million after a bombshell seven-week trial marked by shocking allegations of abuse leveled by both sides.
“I believe Johnny’s attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of freedom of speech and ignore evidence that was so conclusive that we won in the U.K.,” Heard noted. “I’m sad I lost this case. 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.”
Depp said he felt “truly humbled” by the support he received and feels “the jury gave me my life back.”
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“Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those st to me, and also, the lives of the people who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed.
“All in the blink of an eye. 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.
“And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled. 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.
“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.
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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in court May 23, 2022.
(AP Photo/Steve Helber, Pool)
“I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that. I am, and have been, overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and the colossal support and kindness from around the world. I hope that my quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my situation, and that those supporting them never give up.”
“I also hope that the position will now return to innocent until proven guilty, both within the courts and in the media. I wish to acknowledge the noble work of the judge, the jurors, the court staff and the sheriffs who have sacrificed their own time to get to this point, and to my diligent and unwavering legal team who did an extraordinary job in helping me to share the truth. The best is yet to come, and a new chapter has finally begun.”
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“Veritas numquam perit. Truth never perishes. “
Fox News Digital’s Larry Fink contributed to this report.