Johnny Depp Defamation Trial Jury Submits Question About Amber Heard Op-Ed

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During the second day of deliberations, the jury in Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard sent a question to the judge asking for clarification on what section of Heard’s op-ed they were charged with considering in their instructions.

Jurors in the civil case were given a set of instructions to help them arrive at a verdict. In this case, the jury needed clarification on question No. 3 regarding the online version of Heard’s 2018 Washington Post op-ed.

Judge Penney Azcarate gathered both Depp and Heard’s attorneys in the Fairfax, Virginia courtroom on Tuesday afternoon to read the question aloud. “Does question No. 3, the statement is false, pertain to the headline, ‘I Spoke up Against Sexual Violence and Faced Our Culture’s Wrath’ or does it pertain to the content of the statement, everything written in the op-ed?” read Azcarate.

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The judge said she believed jurors were confused because “the statement in question is the title of the op-ed. So, I think they’re just confused as to whether it’s the whole op-ed or the title is the statement and it’s clear that the title is the statement.”

Azcarate asked both sides if they agreed that her response to the jurors was appropriate. Depp’s team answered immediately, but Heard’s team focused on the wording and took several minutes to discuss the response. While the answer may have appeared simple, it’s clear any questions posed by the jury are taken seriously by both legal teams and carefully considered.

The judge said her response would be, “The statement is the headline, not the entire op-ed.”

Jury deliberations began Friday in Depp’s $50 million defamation suit against Heard. The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star says Heard libeled him in her 2018 Washington Post op-ed. Heard is countersuing Depp for $100 million over statements made by his former attorney. The case has been underway for seven weeks.

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