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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Case and Verdict Explained

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard met in 2009 on the set of The Rum Diaries. Seven years later, in 2015, they got married in a secret ceremony with only their closest friends.

At first, it seemed like everything was fine and the couple was living a happy, easy life. However, just a few years later, Amber Heard filed for divorce from the actor and said that he had hit her several times. The Aquaman actress was sure that the Pirates of the Caribbean actor had a problem with drugs and alcohol and that every time he used, he turned into a violent monster. Depp denied everything, but the case made headlines all over the world, and people started calling for him to be fired from the movies he was working on mainly the sequel to Fantastic Beasts.

In 2018, the newspaper The Sun wrote an article calling the actor a “wife beater.” That was the last straw for Johnny Depp. The actor decided to sue the newspaper for libel and bring everyone involved to court, where a judge would decide if the newspaper had lied about him.

At the trial, he showed the testimony of Johnny Depp, who said he was hurt by a violent and manipulative woman, Amber Heard, who said she didn’t lie and showed photos that proved the violence, and other people who defended the actor and even said Elon Musk was to blame for Heard’s bumps and bruises.

Now, both actors are in a new trial, where they both told their sides of the story, and Depp came out on top.

The Appeal says that Amber Heard and her legal team have just started the appeals process. They say that there were problems with the way some juries were chosen (especially jury 15), that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove certain accusations, that the punishment was too harsh, and that it wasn’t clear that Heard meant to hurt Johnny Depp’s career with her article.

According to Marca, a court document says, “The jury’s verdict was clearly influenced by Mr. Depp’s pleas in the face of the Court’s exclusion of Ms. Heard’s introduction of evidence that Mr. Depp, in fact, had already been tried in the Court of his choice for committing not just one act of domestic abuse, which was all that was needed in this case for a defense verdict, but 12 acts of domestic violence, including sexual violence.”


The jury said that Johnny Depp won the case. He will be paid $15 million as a settlement.

Johnny Depp released this post-verdict statement:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Johnny Depp (@johnnydepp)

For her part, Amber Heard published the following: 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Amber Heard (@amberheard)

In 2022

A few days ago, it was announced that a new trial would be shown on TV, with witnesses like James Franco and Elon Musk. This was part of a defamation case that centered on allegations of domestic violence. Depp and Feard must also give their testimony in person.

The Guardian says that Depp is suing Heard for defamation over an opinion piece he wrote for the Washington Post in 2018 in which she talked about being abused at home. The actor’s lawyers say that the article is full of false information, and that Heard makes it sound like she was abused physically and sexually by Depp while they were married.

People say that Heard’s lawyers could use a part of Virginia’s law called “anti-Slapp” (strategic lawsuit against public participation) to show that she should have immunity because the part of the law was made to protect people. when they talk about things that are important to the public, like domestic violence in this case. So, the trial was moved to Virginia for this reason.

Heard, on the other hand, sued Depp for defamation for what his lawyer had said about her.

The testimony of Kate Moss

During the trial, there was talk that Kate Moss might have been abused by Johnny Depp when they were together, but that was all put to rest when the famous model testified virtually.

Moss told CNN that he dated the actor in the 1990s, but that the rumor that he pushed her down the stairs was not true. Instead, she fell down the stairs during a trip to Jamaica because of the rain and hurt his back, he said.

“We were leaving the room, and Johnny left before me. There had been a storm, so when I left the room, I slipped down the stairs and hurt my back. I screamed because I was in pain and didn’t know what had happened to me. He ran over to help me, took me to my room, and got me medical help “Moss said via CNN.

Moss also said that Depp had never hit her, kicked her, or shoved her down the stairs.

Amber Heard testimonials 

Amber Heard took the stand during the trial and gave a detailed account of what happened after she met Johnny Depp. The actress has said that Depp was always violent toward her, both physically and mentally, for the whole time they were together.

Heard says that Depp is a violent, jealous man whose erratic behavior is caused by drugs and leads to constant abuse. The actress has said that the actor made her feel scared on more than one occasion. She said that Depp was mean to her in words, wouldn’t let her see her friends, was jealous of her co-stars and peers, and hit her many times.

Dawn Hughes, a forensic psychologist, backs up what they say. She says that Heard had post-traumatic stress disorder because Johnny Depp was always mean to her.

Here are the most important things he said:

  • In 2015, Heard said that Depp had sexually assaulted her.
  • It was said that the actress took drugs.
  • Heard said that she thought that the actor from Pirates of the Caribbean was going to kill her.
  • Heard told EW that the opinion piece he wrote, which is at the center of the trial, isn’t about Johnny Depp. Instead, it’s about other times he’s been abused and a bigger problem.
  • iO Tillett Wright, a friend of Heard’s, said in her testimony that she heard Depp threaten the actress and that he got violent when he drank or did drugs.

Does Amber Heard have a mental disorder? 

Shannon Curry, a clinical and forensic psychologist hired by Johnny Depp’s lawyers, said she looked at Heard’s mental health records and talked to her for 12 hours in December 2021.

The actress has borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder, according to the psychologist. Curry said, “She got scores that fit with those diagnoses.”

Heard’s lawyers say that this diagnosis isn’t accurate because the psychologist was hired by Depp’s lawyers and isn’t objective because of that.

Johnny Depp Testimonials: Week 1 

On April 19, it was Depp’s turn to say what he thought about the case. The actor said that Heard had strange rules and wouldn’t let him do certain things. He also talked about the abuse claims.

“The only thing I care about is the truth. Lies won’t get you anywhere, but lies are made up of other lies “Depp said. “I can’t get enough of the truth.”

“I felt it was my duty to stand up for myself and for my children in that case,” Depp said in court. “I thought it was awful that my kids had to go to school and be approached by their friends or other people from school with the famous People magazine cover showing Mrs. Heard with a dark bruise on her face.”

According to Business Insider, the actor also said, “There were fights and other things like that, but I never got angry enough to hit Ms. Heard, and I’ve never hit a woman in my life.”

The most important things they said:

  • Depp claims that Heard has a “need for violence”.
  • The actor says he lost a finger after Heard attacked him and had to go to the hospital to have it repaired.
  • Heard allegedly threatened to kill himself after a fight.
  • Depp testified that he has “never assaulted” Heard, calling her article “a great story.”
  • He claims that he lost everything because of Heard’s statements.
  • There was talk about the abuse that Depp suffered as a child.
  • A series of disturbing messages Depp sent about Heard were revealed, but the actor said it was a bit of black humor to deal with what was happening to him.
  • He lost everything. “When the accusations were made [and] quickly circulated around the world, telling people that I was a cocaine-fueled, drunken menace suddenly beating up women in their 50s…regardless of the outcome of this trial, at the time the accusations were made against me [and] it became media fodder… I lost then,” Depp said.
  • Depp revealed that he was partying with Marilyn Manson and that they used drugs and alcohol together.
  • Heard’s lawyers presented audio to show that Depp would have fits of jealousy when she appeared with other actors in movies.
  • Depp admitted that he has “had times in my life where you lose total control over your emotions.”

Testimonials in favor of Depp

Christi Dembrowski, Depp’s sister, was one of the first to give her testimony at the trial and spoke about the abuse that the actor suffered as a child, in addition to some incidents of the couple. According to The Independent, she said: “I’ve seen the insults, quite a few times actually. She called him a ‘fat old man’. I think he heard her call him that.”

She also said this about the wedding: “I tried to get him to wait a little longer and not be in such a hurry. There had been talks about a prenuptial agreement for a while, but as the date of the island ceremony got closer, the talks broke down. I knew it was important to him and his children, so we rushed to do something.

During cross-examination, Dembrowski told the court that he knew Depp had been using drugs and alcohol in 2014, but he thought Heard was exaggerating.

She said that her mother was mean and violent, and that she would yell at and mistreat her father. When they asked her how she treated them, she said, “Like she did with dad.” He hit us, threw things, yelled at us, and called us names. We each had a different set of names.”

The actor’s childhood friend also showed up and talked about how kind he was.

The testimonies in favor of Heard

The trial is already going on, and both sides have given statements in which they talk about how Depp and Heard were violent.

USA Today says that Heard’s lawyer started by saying, “You’re going to see who the real Johnny Depp is: behind the fame and the pirate costumes.”

One of Depp’s friends said that the actor sent messages to Heard in which he talked about her in a mean way and said that he wanted to see her dead body in a car. This was one of the pieces of evidence against the actor, and it backs up Heard’s claims that he was acting in a scary way.

Debbie Lloyd, Depp’s private nurse, said in court that when she went to the couple’s house, it was “a mess.”

He said, “I remember there was writing on the wall and a broken TV.” He also said that he had heard different stories about how Depp cut his finger. She said, “I heard Amber threw a bottle of vodka at him and he hit her with a phone.”

James Franco, Paul Bettany from “Avengers,” and Elon Musk, who could be the next CEO of Twitter, are also set to testify during the trial.

Text messages

During the trial, Amber Heard’s defense team also showed a bunch of violent messages that the actor had written.

Heard’s lawyer, J. Benjamin Rottenborn, said that in 2013, Depp sent a text message to Paul Bettany that said, “Let’s burn Amber!” Later, he wrote, “Let’s drown her instead of burning her!” Heard’s lawyers said during Depp’s cross-examination on Thursday that another woman said she was going to have sex with Heard’s “burned corpse to make sure she’s dead.”

These are just a few of the ones that the lawyers brought up, and Depp said that he agreed that he had written them. Vice says that when Rottenborn asked Depp if he had read the texts right, Depp said, “Yes, sir.”

How it all started?

After meeting on the set of The Rum Diaries, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard got married in 2015. At the time, Depp was still married to actress Vanessa Paradis, and Heard was dating photographer Tasya Van Ree. However, they eventually broke up with their partners and started one of the most controversial relationships ever (when they met, Depp had 47 years and Heard 24). In 2012, Depp and Heard began dating, and in 2015, they finally got married in secret.

The divorce

About one year and a half after the wedding, Amber Heard asked for a divorce and a restraining order against Johnny Depp. She said that the actor had a drug problem and had hurt her physically, but she didn’t say more. 

Heard says that while they were going through the divorce process, she was attacked and got cuts and bruises. The actress said that Johnny Depp had thrown a phone at her face, but police sources said there was no proof of that. Depp denied the claim, and a representative for him said that Heard was “trying to get a quick financial settlement by saying she was abused.”

The 7 million deal

Amber gave sworn testimony in a deposition in August 2016, but a settlement was reached after she dropped her request for a domestic violence restraining order. She also gave up on her request for $50,000 per month in spousal support.

Depp and Heard also put out a statement together saying: “Our relationship was very intense and sometimes tumultuous, but it was always based on love. Neither side has said anything false about the other to get money. No one ever tried to hurt him physically or make him feel bad.”

Heard got $7 million from the divorce, but she said she would give it to groups that help women who are victims of domestic violence and to the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital.

The end of divorce

In 2017, the divorce case was over. Heard took care of the couple’s dogs, but Johnny Depp kept all of their houses, cars, and motorcycles.

Heard’s note in the Washington Post

Amber Heard wrote an article for the Washington Post in December 2018 about what it’s like for women who are victims of domestic violence. Heard wrote, “I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s anger at women who spoke out.”

In 2019, Depp sued Heard for defamation over the article and asked for $50 million in payment. The lawsuit said that Heard “is not a victim of domestic abuse, she is a perpetrator,” and Heard denied that Depp had ever hurt her.

Heard tried to get Depp’s defamation lawsuit thrown out by saying that he had abused her during their marriage and calling him “the Monster.” This was reported by Variety. Heard said that she still had scars on her arms and feet from an incident in which Depp allegedly threw her across a ping pong table and dragged her over broken glass.

The trial against The Sun

Johnny Depp sued The Sun newspaper for libel on July 7, 2020. The trial started on that date. There, the actor said that he had never hit Heard or any other woman, and that Heard was the violent one in the relationship.

Employees defended Depp by saying they never saw him attack Heard. The court also let Depp’s ex-girlfriends Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis give written statements in his favor, but then it was Heard’s turn to testify. She said that Depp hit her and left marks on her body that she had to cover up with makeup.

The actress said that Depp was violent when he was drunk or high, and that he hit her when she made fun of one of his tattoos.

The verdict of the trial against The Sun

The trial ended on July 30, and the actor was found guilty of defamation a few days later, since he couldn’t prove his case.

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