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Image / Agenda / Breaking Stories

Depp v Heard: Reading between the lines of their respective statements


By Sarah Finnan
02nd Jun 2022

Law & Crime

Depp v Heard: Reading between the lines of their respective statements

After almost seven weeks of court proceedings, the Johnny Depp v Amber Heard defamation case has finally come to an end with the jury delivering their verdict to the court yesterday afternoon.

The seven-person jury delivered their long-awaited verdict in the Johnny Depp v Amber Heard defamation case yesterday, ruling in favour of Depp and awarding him $15 million in compensation. Heard’s countersuit was successful on one count and she was awarded $2 million. 

One of the most high-profile legal battles in modern history, Law & Crime reported record-breaking viewing numbers since proceedings began over six weeks ago. Many people’s go-to source for live coverage throughout the case, over 330 million people had tuned in by early May, with many more likely to have logged onto YouTube in the days and weeks following. 

Testimony ended last week with closing arguments taking place on Friday ahead of the long holiday weekend. Delivering an emotional message to jurors at the time, Heard told the court how her husband had vowed to “ruin” her, denying claims that she had faked bruises or fabricated photos and reminding the jury that there were “so many pictures, so much evidence” to back up her allegations of domestic abuse.

Depp sued his ex-wife Heard for defamation over an article she wrote for The Washington Post, in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse”. Depp was not named in the article but his legal team claimed that its publication had cost him several lucrative acting roles. Heard countersued Depp over comments his former attorney had made about her abuse claims. 

It was Depp who was victorious in the end.

Jurors ruled in favour of Depp’s claim of defamation across three counts. Conversely, they also found that Depp, through his lawyer Adam Waldman, defamed Heard on one count of three. Heard was in the courtroom as the verdict was read, while Depp watched from the UK. 

Both releasing statements in the wake of the news, Depp said that he was “humbled” by the verdict, thanking the jury for giving him his life back. Heard’s reaction was far more sombre with the actor writing, “the disappointment I feel today is beyond words”. 

Here’s what their respective statements said:

Depp

“Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest 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 travelled 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 I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me. 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.

Veritas numquam perit.

Truth never perishes.

Heard

“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. 

“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. 

“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 UK. 

“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.”

The differences: 

Timing

Heard released her statement first, just minutes after the verdict was delivered. Depp posted his shortly after. Statements regarding either outcome would have been prepared in advance so it’s not surprising that they were posted online so quickly after the news had broken. 

Format

Heard’s statement looks to have been written in the notes app of her iPhone. Depp is believed to have typed his on a manual typewriter. 

Who they talked about 

Heard’s statement mentions Depp by name. She also discusses the jury, Depp’s attorneys and the impact the verdict will have on women and female victims of domestic abuse. Conversely, Depp’s statement talks about the impact the verdict will have on both male and female victims of domestic abuse.

Depp’s statement also includes mention of his children, fans and the jury – he never mentions Heard.

Comments 

Only a few messages have been left under Heard’s statement which suggests that she has limited who can leave a public comment. Depp’s statement has been flooded with over 800,000 comments from friends, family and supporters. 

The jury has delivered its verdict, but whether the court of public opinion accepts or rejects it remains to be seen.