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Thursday 28th September 2023 / 13 Rabiulawal 1445

Depp-Heard defamation trial ends tomorrow: What’s next?



As the Hollywood star, Johnny Depp has filed a defamation suit against ex-wife and actress Amber Heard and sued her for $50 million, the trial will end tomorrow.

The trial began last month and will end tomorrow. Now the question is what happens if Johnny Depp wins the trial? Let’s talk about this:

Depp-Heard’s divorce

Heard filed for divorce in May 2016, citing irreconcilable differences. She got a restraining order against Depp, claiming he was abusive throughout their marriage. Depp denies the allegations.

Heard received $US7 million as part of their divorce settlement, which she said in a joint statement she would donate to charity. In the statement, the pair said, “Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile but always bound by love”. Their divorce is finalised in January 2017.

Defamation case

Johnny Depp decided to sue Amber Heard for defamation because of an op-ed she wrote in the Washington Post in 2018. In the op-ed, headlined ‘I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change’, Heard claimed that she was a domestic abuse survivor. However, she did not name Depp but the actor ended up losing major filing projects after that oped.  

Though Heard never mentioned Depp by name in the piece, his lawyers argue that references to him, and Heard’s previous abuse allegations, are clear and have damaged his career and reputation.


In response to Depp’s defamation suit, Heard filed a $100 million countersuit, claiming Depp and his legal team defamed her by calling her allegations a scam.

When will the Depp-Heard trial end?

The trial is now scheduled to conclude on Friday 27 May. It was originally set to end last Thursday but had to be extended as there was more evidence to be heard. Once all the evidence has been heard the lawyers for both Depp and Heard will make their closing statements before the jury consider their ruling.

Who does the public support?

Since the trial has begun, public opinion appears to be weighing far more heavily in favour of Depp than Heard. Many social media users believe it could be possible that the public might be more sympathetic toward Depp because he is such a big movie star, and so well-liked on screen for decades.

Possible outcomes of the trial?

After reserving the verdict, the jury will decide whether, on the balance of probability, Heard did defame Depp in the 2018 Washington Post article.

If they decide she did, Amber will be ordered to pay Depp damages. Depp is seeking $50m (£40m) in compensation, but the jury may recommend he is awarded more or less than this amount.

What’s next in the defamation suit?

If they rule in favour of Heard she will not have to pay Depp any money. Heard will not go to prison even if the jury decides in Depp’s favour.

This is a civil trial, not a criminal case. Neither Heard nor Depp are being tried on any criminal charges.



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