Shawn Thew/Pool Photo via AP Camille Vasquez and Johnny Depp
In a sit-down with Savannah Guthrie on Wednesday's episode of the Today show, Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew discussed how the time since the verdict one week ago has been indicative of a hugely positive change for the actor.
"I was speaking with another friend of ours, a mutual friend of Johnny's and ours, and he said, 'I haven't seen Johnny smile like that in six years,' " said Vasquez, noting that Depp, 58, is feeling "an overwhelming sense of relief."
"The weight of the world is off of his shoulders. He's got his life back," Chew told Guthrie.
Ahead of Chew and Vasquez's appearance on Today, a spokesperson for Heard, 36, said in a statement provided to PEOPLE, "It is as unseemly as it is unprofessional that Johnny Depp's legal team has chosen to do a victory lap for setting back decades of how women can be treated in the courtroom. What's next? A movie deal and merchandising?"
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EXCLUSIVE: Johnny Depp’s attorneys say they had “ultimate confidence” in the actor, the jury, and the “facts of this case.” pic.twitter.com/9lT711hmNb
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 8, 2022
Last week, Depp won all three defamation claims in the case against his ex-wife and was awarded $15 million in damages by a jury. The Aquaman actress will only have to pay him $10.35 million due to a Virginia law capping punitive damages (the judge reduced the amount to meet that cap).
In regards to Heard's countersuit brought against Depp, he was found to have defamed her on one of three claims. She was awarded $2 million in damages.
Chew said Wednesday on Today that he and the rest of Depp's legal team "had ultimate confidence in Johnny and the jury and the facts of this case," adding, "You can only hope that the jury will see it, and in this case they did, and the verdict was overwhelmingly in his favor."
"The verdict is overwhelmingly positive for Johnny. It was unanimous — there were seven people that decided he was defamed," Vasquez said.
In conversation with George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday's Good Morning America, Vasquez said that she believes the "key" to Depp's victory "was the facts and the evidence, and Johnny's opportunity to speak the truth for the first time."
"It was six years in the making, and I think he was able to connect with the jury and the general public and tell what really happened in this relationship," she explained.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty ; Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Johnny Depp; Amber Heard
On Tuesday, Depp joined TikTok and thanked his "loyal" fans, writing alongside a video montage of his recent music touring with Jeff Beck, "To all of my most treasured, loyal and unwavering supporters. We've been everywhere together, we have seen everything together. We have walked the same road together. We did the right thing together, all because you cared."
"And now, we will all move forward together," the Pirates of the Caribbean actor continued. "You are, as always, my employers and once again I am whittled down to no way to say thank you, other than just by saying thank you. So, thank you. My love & respect, JD." (Depp has so far gained over 8 million TikTok followers.)
Heard, who plans to appeal the verdict, said in a statement after it was revealed last week, "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."
"I'm even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback," she added. "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."