Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Trial Timeline: 10 key events from the case that led up to its final verdict
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's defamation trial reached its final verdict on June 1 as the jury ruled in favour of Depp.
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's defamation trial which commenced in April finally concluded in June. The six-week-long trial consisted of startling moments as both actors made explosive revelations about their relationship. The case was originally filed by Depp seeking USD 50 million in defamation for his ex-wife's 2018 op-ed in Washington Post.
The case was heard at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax from early April until its final verdict was announced on June 1. Heard had also filed a counterclaim against Depp's former lawyer for calling her claims of abuse, among other things, a "hoax" and "fake." As for the verdict announced by the jury on June 1, Johnny won the defamation trial and was awarded USD 15 million, USD 10 million in compensatory damages and USD 5 million in punitive damages. Amber was also awarded USD 2 million in compensatory damages as the jury sided with her counterclaim.
While the verdict of the case has left netizens and fans of both the stars discussing the case online. We take a look at the timeline of events of how the trial unfolded over the past months.
2019 - Johnny Depp sues Amber Heard
In 2019, Johnny Depp sued ex-wife Amber Heard for USD 50 million in defamation claiming that the article falsely implied she was physically and sexually abused by the actor when they were married. The actor claimed that the piece cost him his role in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Following his loss in the UK libel case against a tabloid that referred to him as "wife beater", Johnny was refused to appeal against the High Court ruling in 2021. As for his defamation trial in US, the case finally kicked off in April 2022 after delays caused by the pandemic.
Depp takes the stand
Johnny Depp opens up about being "obsessed with truth" in his testimony. Reflects on his childhood and facing abuse as a child at the hands of his mother Betty Sue. The actor also spoke about his drug abuse claiming that it was to "numb himself" from but maintained that he wasn't a "maniac" who needed to stay high all the time.
Johnny's response to Amber's claims
Johnny during his testimony claimed that he never struck Amber Heard and called her allegations "quite heinous and disturbing," and "not based in any species of truth." Denied committing acts of physical violence such as putting out a cigarette on her.
Amber Heard's testimony
In early May, Amber Heard took the stand in the defamation trial and spoke about the physical abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of Depp. Amber recalled the first violent incident that took place between the couple and revealed the time when Depp allegedly slapped her for the first time. In her testimony that was spread across two days, Heard also alleged that Depp had performed a "cavity search" on her and also accused him of penetrating her with a liquor bottle.
Among early witnesses in the case for Depp's side happened to be his sister Christi Dembrowski who claimed that she witnessed Amber talking down to the actor when she called him an "old, fat man." One of the biggest witnesses for Johnny though happened to be his ex Kate Moss who denied claims that he had ever committed any acts of violence during the course of their relationship and also clarified that he never pushed down the stairs.
As for Amber Heard, the actress' sister testified in court that she witnessed the actor being physically violent against her recalling an incident when he allegedly grabbed her “by the hair with one hand and was whacking her repeatedly in the face with the other." The Aquaman actress' makeup artist also testified in court about hiding her injuries with heavy makeup before her December 2015 appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden.
Audio and video evidence
As a part of the case, several audio and video clips were presented as evidence which captured Johnny and Amber's altercations. In one recording presented in court, Heard seemingly admits to having "hit" Depp while also denying that she punched him. In another recording, Heard also seemingly told Johnny to announce to the world that he has suffered domestic violence and see if anyone believes him. As for Depp, a video of the actor smashing kitchen cabinets was presented in court as well as his texts with friend Paul Bettany consisting of crude language used against Heard were read aloud in court.
After a month-long presentation of witnesses and cross-examination along with testimonies from Heard and Johnny. The closing arguments were presented by attorneys for both sides on May 27.
June 2022 - Jury Verdict
On June 1 2022, the final verdict in the case was announced by jury which was in favour of Depp and maintained that Heard had defamed Depp and her op-ed published in the newspaper of being a victim of domestic violence was directed toward him. A total compensation of USD 15million has been awarded to Depp.
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