The Outcome of the Amber Heard-Johnny Depp Verdict Isn't a Victory For Anyone

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The headlines on Wednesday, June 1 all proclaimed Johnny Depp’s win in court in his defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard. But after six weeks of a circus courtroom offering up insider details into a very toxic relationship, there doesn’t feel like any winner here. The trial showed off the worst of society as the court case took on an almost campy feel with talk shows, comedians, and even Saturday Night Live trivializing what’s really at stake here: the seriousness of domestic violence.

We’re not putting all of this on Depp, though, it took two to tango in this marriage, and they even described their marriage in their breakup statement in 2016 as “intensely passionate and at times volatile.” Read between the lines on that — it wasn’t a healthy relationship. It was fraught with emotional, verbal and physical abuse on both sides. Heard obviously struggled with mental health issues, which became a hot topic for several witnesses testifying on the stand, and Depp’s battle with drug and alcohol addiction was also noted as a part of his fall from Hollywood’s A-list actors.

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Depp’s libel case against the U.K.’s publication The Sun labeled him as a “wife-beater” in 2020. Now, he feels vindicated that Heard’s 2018 Washington Post op-ed about being the “public face of domestic abuse” did defame him — and send $15 million his way ($10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages) for libel. Heard was also awarded $2 million in her countersuit against the Pirates of the Caribbean actor.

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Depp already put out a statement sharing that “the jury gave me my life back,” and the entertainment industry rehabilitation of the actor begins as he joins musician Jeff Beck onstage in London. Heard is reflecting on the “disappointment” of the verdict and that “the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband,” per The Hollywood Reporter. It’s unclear what is next for either actor, but the consequences of money, fame, and two struggling people will ruminate far beyond a headline over who won an unwinnable case on a very personal level.

Before you go, click here to see the most important celebrity lawsuits over the past 15 years.

Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson

Launch Gallery: 10 rumors that plagued Johnny Depp & Amber Heard's relationship through the years

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