Can Amber Heard appeal the jury verdict?
The verdict was read in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia at approximately 3 p.m. ET today and sided with the actor Johnny Depp.
Jurors finally reached a verdict in the defamation claims brought by actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard case after the Hollywood stars who have accused each other of abuse before and during their two-year marriage.
The verdict was read in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia and found Depp not guilty after the 58-year-old “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, sued Heard for $50 million and argued that she defamed him when she called herself “a public figure representing domestic abuse” in a newspaper opinion piece.
Heard, 36, countersued for $100 million, saying Depp smeared her when his lawyer called her accusations a “hoax.”
Six week hearing
During six weeks of testimony, Heard’s attorneys argued that she had told the truth and that her comments were covered as free speech under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.
Throughout the case, jurors listened to recordings of the couple’s fights and saw graphic photos of Depp’s bloody finger.
He said the top of the finger was severed when Heard threw a vodka bottle at him in 2015.
Heard denied injuring Depp’s finger and said the actor sexually assaulted her that night with a liquor bottle. She claimed she struck him only to defend herself or her sister.
Testimony was live streamed widely on social media, drawing large audiences to hear details about the couple’s troubled relationship.
After losing the civil court case in Fairfax, Virginia, Heard could still choose to lodge an appeal against the decision. However it is difficult to see how this could be effective unless any significant new evidence or testimony emerges post-trial.
In fact Heard has already lodged a $100 million counter suit against her ex-husband alleging that he defamed her in the course of his suit. Depp’s legal team described the claims as “fake” and a “sexual violence hoax”.