Johnny Depp Is 'Focused on Himself' After Amber Heard Verdict: 'He's Looking for Positivity' (Source)
Johnny Depp is seeking positivity after closing out his controversial six-week defamation trial with ex-wife Amber Heard.
On Wednesday, the seven-person jury in Fairfax County, Virginia, sided mostly with Depp, awarding him $10.35 million in damages and awarding Heard $2 million. After the verdict, the actor said in a statement that he felt like he'd been given his "life back" and that the "best is yet to come" for him. (Heard plans to appeal.)
A source close to Depp, 58, tells PEOPLE he's "happy" and "relieved" after the verdict.
"He's figuring out what he does next. He feels like he's been vindicated," says the source. "He feels a significant weight off his shoulders. It's been six years of this. It's been so gratifying to hear from men and women — he's heard a lot of positive support from both men and women."
Right now, "he is focused on himself," says the source, who adds, "He is absolutely looking ahead and past this. He's looking for positivity and to move away from negativity."
Depp was not present when the verdict was read in court Wednesday afternoon (he's touring with musician Jeff Beck in the U.K.). In his post-verdict statement, he added, "Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also, the lives of the people who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed. All in the blink of an eye."
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"False, very serious and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me," he continued. "It had already traveled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career. And six years later, the jury gave me my life back."
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Heard, 36, also reacted to the verdict in a statement on Wednesday, saying she was "disappointed" by the ruling, calling it a "setback" for women.
"The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. I'm heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence and sway of my ex-husband," she said. "I'm even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback."
"It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously," said Heard.
"I believe Johnny's attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech and ignore evidence that was so conclusive that we won in the U.K.," she continued. "I'm sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American — to speak freely and openly."
Depp and Heard met while making the 2011 film The Rum Diary, and they later wed in February 2015. In May 2016, Heard filed for divorce as well as a domestic violence restraining order. He denied her abuse claims. The center of this court case was a December 2018 op-ed written by Heard about coming forward with sexual violence allegations, though she didn't mention him by name in it.
Depp said in his statement that he is "overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and the colossal support and kindness from around the world."
"I hope that my quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my situation, and that those supporting them never give up. I also hope that the position will now return to innocent until proven guilty, both within the courts and in the media," he said. "I wish to acknowledge the noble work of the Judge, the jurors, the court staff and the Sheriffs who have sacrificed their own time to get to this point, and to my diligent and unwavering legal team who did an extraordinary job in helping me to share the truth. The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun. Veritas numquam perit. Truth never perishes."
RELATED: Hollywood Insiders Say Verdict May Not Restore Johnny Depp's Movie Stardom: 'Nobody Truly Won'
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This verdict came 19 months after Depp lost his highly publicized U.K. libel lawsuit case against British tabloid The Sun in November 2020 for calling him a "wife-beater." The court upheld the outlet's claims as being "substantially true" and Heard testified to back up the claims. In March 2021, his attempt to overturn the decision was overruled.
When Depp returned to the witness stand last week, he vehemently denied Heard's "insane" allegations. He told the courtroom, "No human being is perfect, certainly not. None of us. But I have never in my life committed sexual battery, physical abuse, all these outlandish, outrageous stories of me committing these things and living with it for six years and waiting to be able to bring the truth out."
"This is not easy for any of us; I know that," he said, adding that Heard's "heinous" accusations have "gotten out of control."