Depp-Heard defamation trial: What’s it all about?

FAIRFAX, Va. – After a six-week trial, a civil jury jury in Virginia is deliberating defamation claims by way of Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard. The trial has featured lurid testimony with specific information about the film stars’ quick and unstable marriage. But what’s the case actually about? And what is going to the jury want to come to a decision?:


Depp filed a $50 million defamation go well with in opposition to Heard, alleging {that a} 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post broken his popularity and harm his profession. In the thing, Heard described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” Depp isn’t discussed by way of identify within the article, however his legal professionals argued that it was once transparent she was once regarding Depp, for the reason that she had publicly accused him of home violence right through their 2016 divorce complaints. Heard’s legal professionals mentioned many of the article makes a speciality of public coverage on home violence and that she had a First Amendment proper to weigh in on that matter. They additionally deal with that Depp did in reality abuse Heard.



During the trial, Heard has described greater than a dozen explicit circumstances when she says Depp abused her, together with her allegation that he sexually assaulted her with a liquor bottle in an alcohol-fueled rage. Depp has denied any bodily or sexual abuse, and says Heard concocted the claims to wreck his popularity. He’s additionally claimed that she bodily attacked him on a couple of events.


The seven-member jury should come to a decision if two passages and the headline of the thing are defamatory. The jury verdict shape provides jurors directions on how you can decide that, together with by way of asking them whether or not the statements have been about Depp, have been false and had a defamatory implication about him. Because Depp is a public determine, Heard can most effective be discovered in charge of libel if the jury makes a decision that she acted with “actual malice,” which means that she both knew what she wrote was once false or that she acted with reckless put out of your mind for the reality. Heard’s legal professionals advised the jury Depp’s libel declare should fail if Heard suffered even a unmarried incident of abuse.



Heard filed a $100 million counterclaim in opposition to Depp after his former legal professional known as her allegations a hoax. The counterclaim has gained much less consideration right through the trial, however Heard’s legal professional advised jurors it supplies an street for the jury to compensate Heard for the abuse Depp inflicted on her by way of orchestrating a smear marketing campaign when they cut up up.

The jury verdict shape asks the jury to come to a decision if Depp’s former legal professional, appearing as an agent for Depp, made or printed 3 statements that have been about Heard, have been false and have been observed by way of somebody rather then Heard. The jury should additionally come to a decision if Depp’s legal professional made the statements with precise malice.

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