Amber Heard was found by a jury to have defamed Johnny Depp by portraying herself as a victim of domestic abuse in an op-ed piece. On Friday, June 24, the judge in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial made the jury’s verdict official by issuing a written order directing Heard to pay Depp $10.35 million.
Judge Penney Azcarate placed a judgment order into the court file following a brief hearing in Fairfax County Circuit Court. She also mandated that Depp pay Heard the $2 million judgment award on her counterclaim that one of Depp’s attorneys had slandered Heard.
After a sensational trial in which the couple disclosed graphic details of their brief marriage during a televised trial that was closely followed on social media, the jury’s announcement of its verdict on June 1 and the subsequent order became a formality. The jury, in its verdict, sided largely with Depp.
Depp sued Heard over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” The jury found in Depp’s favor on all three of his claims relating to specific statements in the 2018 piece.
The jury found Depp should receive $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, but the judge reduced the punitive damages award to $350,000 under a state cap.
Heard has said she plans to appeal the verdict.
During Friday’s hearing, the judge said that if Heard appeals, she must post a bond for the full amount of the $10.35 million awards while the appeal is pending. The judge’s order says both awards are subject to 6% interest per year.
She would also need to add an additional $480,000 in interest payments.
According to the Post, the judge entered Depp’s version of the verdict on paper and rejected all of Heard’s proposed edits.
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