Johnny Depp Is Biggest Winner in Lawsuits Between the Actor and His Ex-Wife

June 1, 2022 by Tom Ramstack
Johnny Depp Is Biggest Winner in Lawsuits Between the Actor and His Ex-Wife
This combination of two separate photos shows actors Johnny Depp, left, and Amber Heard in the courtroom for closing arguments at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Va., on Friday, May 27, 2022. (AP Photos/Steve Helber, Pool)

FAIRFAX, Va. — Actor Johnny Depp came out ahead Wednesday in conflicting lawsuits for defamation between him and his ex-wife, Amber Heard.

A jury in Fairfax awarded Depp a total of $15 million in damages but $2 million for fellow actress Heard.

The lawsuits were prompted by a 2018 op-ed Heard wrote that was published in an online edition of The Washington Post. She claimed to be a victim of sexual assaults and beatings, calling herself a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”

Depp was not named in The Washington Post article but the description left no doubt it referred to him.


As a result, he lost acting jobs, including his lead role in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie franchise.

He also sued Heard for $50 million. Heard countersued for $100 million.

Depp testified during the trial that Heard’s comments about him were “ridiculous, humiliating, ludicrous, painful, savage, unimaginably brutal, cruel and all false. All false.”

Heard testified that Depp tried to control her career and was frequently intoxicated or drugged. Her defamation claim was based on a statement from a former Depp lawyer that she said was insulting.


“People want to kill me, and they tell me so every day,” Heard testified. “People want to put my baby in the microwave, and they tell me that. Johnny threatened — promised, promised me — that if I ever left him, he’d make me think of him every day that I lived.”

The trial lasted for six weeks. The jury deliberated for nearly three days.

The jury’s verdict indicated they did not believe Heard’s allegations in The Washington Post op-ed.

The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Virginia law caps punitive damages at $350,000, which means his total award would be $10,350,000.

The jury awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages but nothing in punitive damages, meaning Depp would come out ahead by a total of $8,350,000.

The website Celebrity Net Worth says Depp has assets of around $150 million. It lists Heard’s assets at $2.5 million.


The jury’s verdict was met by an outburst of approval from Depp’s supporters outside the federal court in Fairfax.

Tom can be reached at [email protected] and @TomRamstack

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