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Amber Heard, the ex-wife of Johnny Depp who lost the high-profile libel case earlier this month, said she told the truth in her testimony and that social media may have influenced the decision of the jury.
“Of course, until my dying day, [I] will back up every word of my testimony,” she told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie. “I think (the) vast majority of this trial took place on social media. I think this trial is an example of what went haywire, went wild, and the jury is not immune to that.”
In the double libel suit between Heard and Pirates of the Caribbean star Depp, a seven-member jury found that the actress defamed Depp and that he was entitled to $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. The actual amount awarded to Depp was $10.35 million. Virginia state law caps punitive damages at $350,000.
In Heard’s countersuit, the jury found that she had been defamed by one of Depp’s lawyers. She was seeking $100 million in damages in her countersuit. The jury awarded him $2 million in damages.
How this case ended in court
Depp sued Heard, claiming she defamed him by accusing him of domestic violence in an opinion piece in The Washington Post. During the trial, it was revealed that the essay was written by the American Civil Liberties Union and published to coincide with the release of Aquaman, a film in which Heard starred. Although Depp was not named specifically, emails between the ACLU and Heard’s attorneys read during the trial discussed whether to include his name in the article.
The Washington Post added a “Editor’s noteidentifying statements in the essay that the jury found to be false and defamatory.
In the NBC interview, Heard said she exercised her First Amendment right while writing the op-ed.
“It’s freedom to speak truth to power…and that’s all I said,” she said.
Heard counterattacked, saying Depp’s legal team had falsely accused her of fabricating allegations against Depp. Adam Waldman, one of Depp’s lawyers, called Heard’s accusations against Depp a “hoax” and an “ambush” in press statements.
Heard says his confession to hitting Depp was a response to his abuse
Over the course of six weeks, the trial in a Fairfax, Virginia courtroom revealed a troubled relationship between the two actors, often in excruciating detail. In the recordings and the texts, they argued and denigrated each other.
In taped conversations between the two, Heard tells Depp that she didn’t “hit” him but rather “hit him” and “so that he grows up”. Witnesses described Depp as a controlling spouse who abused drugs and alcohol.
Guthrie pressed Heard on his confession in the tape, to which Heard said: “As I testified on the stand about this is that when your life is in danger, not only will you take the blame for things that you shouldn’t take the blame for, but when you’re in an abusive dynamic – psychologically, emotionally and physically – you don’t have the resources…or the luxury to say, “Hey, it’s black and white “, because it’s everything except when you I live in it.”
In one recording, Heard also tells Depp that the world wouldn’t believe him if he said he was a victim of domestic violence.
“Twenty-second clips, or their transcripts, aren’t even representative of the two or three hours these clips are taken from,” she said.
Heard said she never incited violence between the couple, but responded to it.
“When you live in violence and it becomes normal, as I testified, you have to adapt,” she said.
She added, “I will always continue to feel like I was part of this, like I was the other half of this relationship, because I was, and it was ugly, and it could be very beautiful. . It was very, very toxic. We were awful to each other. I made a lot of mistakes…but I always told the truth.”
What was going on in front of the courthouse
Before the jury returned its verdict, the court of public opinion was already in Depp’s corner. According The Washington Post“The hashtag #justiceforjohnnydepp has received nearly 7 billion views on TikTok and regularly trends on Twitter as fans create supercuts from trial footage that is edited to make Heard’s accusations seem unfounded.”
In stark contrast, Heard has been the subject of hate and vitriol online. Heard said he saw crowds of people inside and outside the courtroom supporting Depp, some holding signs with sayings like “burn the witch.”
She said she didn’t feel confident on the day of the verdict.
“I think even the most well-meaning juror would find it impossible to avoid this,” she said.
His lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, Told NBC Today that while jurors weren’t supposed to check social media, their friends and families might have.
“There’s no way they weren’t influenced by that. It was awful. It was really, really unbalanced,” she said.
Additionally, Bredehoft said it was wrong not to be able to tell the jury about the Depp libel case. lost in the UK, where Depp sued The sun diary on a story in which he was called “a wife beater”. The British judge concluded that the story was “substantially true”.