Amber Heard was found by a jury to have defamed Johnny Depp by portraying herself as a victim of domestic abuse in an op-ed piece. On Friday, the judge in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial made the jury’s verdict official by issuing a written order requiring Heard to pay Depp $10.35 million.
Immediately following a brief hearing in Fairfax County Circuit Court, Judge Penney Azcarate placed a judgement order into the court file. She also mandated that Depp pay Heard the $2 million judgement award on her counterclaim that one of Depp’s attorneys had slandered Heard.
After a sensational trial in which the couple disclosed graphic details of their brief marriage during a televised trial that was closely followed on social media, the jury’s announcement of its verdict on June 1 and the subsequent order became a formality. The jury, in its verdict, sided largely with Depp.
Heard wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post in December 2018 referring to herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse,” and Depp filed a lawsuit as a result. All three of Depp’s claims relating to certain remarks in the 2018 essay were upheld by the jury.
The judge cut the punitive damages award to $350,000 due to a state cap despite the jury’s finding that Depp should receive $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
Heard has stated that she intends to contest the judgement.
“As was stated during yesterday’s congressional hearings, if you are innocent, you do not request a pardon. And if you know you are right, you don’t refuse to appeal “Heard’s representative stated in a statement to USA TODAY on Friday.
At the hearing on Friday, the judge stated that, as is customary, Heard would need to post a bond equal to the entire $10.35 million award while her appeal is pending. Both awards are entitled to 6% interest a year, according to the judge’s ruling.