Actor Johnny Depp has finally won the case against his ex-wife Amber Heard. The actress “defamed” him by accusing him of domestic violence against him, a US jury ruled on Wednesday. On the other hand, Johnny Depp is also guilty of defamation for having described these accusations as a “set-up”.
The jury in Fairfax, Virginia, was mandated to investigate the harm caused to Mr. Depp by a text signed by the hand of Mr.me Heard published in 2018 in the Washington Post. The actress, whom we saw on the big screen in League of Justice (the Justice League) Y Aquaman — did not explicitly name her ex-husband, but referred to him. She later described herself as a “public figure representing domestic violence.”
A month after the publication of this text, Johnny Depp had decided to sue her for defamation claiming 50 million dollars in damages, considering that this platform had ruined his reputation and his career. In response, Ella Heard had filed a $100 million counterclaim as she claimed to have suffered physical and sexual abuse.
Ultimately, the jury did not believe any evidence of domestic violence presented by Camp Heard. Therefore, the actress will have to pay 15 million dollars to Johnny Depp, that is, 10 million dollars in compensation and 5 million in punitive damages. On the other hand, Virginia law limits the amount that can be paid in punitive damages to $350,000.
Show judgment, lurid history
The famous actor, however, has not been completely acquitted by the courts. The seven jurors found that Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, had also made libelous comments in calling Amber Heard’s sexual abuse allegations a “set up” in the newspaper. daily mail in 2020. The actor is thus ordered to pay $2 million in damages to his ex-wife.
In the end, Amber Heard owes Johnny Depp $8,350,000.
The gossip press reveled in this long (six weeks) high-profile trial, filmed from start to finish. The two protagonists are above all actors, and they have multiplied the staging and the murderous retorts. Evidence provided by Heard’s attorneys has exposed intimate and sometimes sordid details of the couple’s tumultuous life. Images of violence, eschatological anecdotes, and drug use have dotted the story of the two former lovers.
This diversion of the substance of the case – defamation – towards a popularity contest may be seen by some as a distortion on the part of the view of justice.
“We know that reporting is complicated and dangerous and exhausting. We know that public opinion tends to defend above all the men in power. And that these men of power have the means to defend themselves and they defend themselves, among other things, by discrediting the victim, ”he points out to the To have to feminist essayist Martine Delvaux. This pro-spouse conclusion also highlights that the #MeToo backlash is “permanent,” she argues.
The popular judgment, largely in favor of the “pirate of the Caribbean”, certainly weighed on the mind of the jury, and even more so on the mind of the public, analyzes the sociologist and specialist in violence against women Stéphanie Pache. “Once again, we managed to tarnish the image of someone who is very clearly a victim, if only in media treatment. »
Johnny Depp had already tried a similar legal adventure in England, a few years ago, against the tabloid Sun, who had called him a “women beater”, losing his case twice, he says. “He is the one who systematically attacks and the litigious one. The popular sanction makes it a problem. That, unfortunately, is not unique. This is how social order is maintained: we don’t like troublemakers. »
This was stated by Amber Heard in a press release after the delivery of the verdict. “I am devastated that the mountain of evidence was not enough to deal with the far superior power, influence, and ancestry of my ex-husband. I am even more disappointed by what this verdict means for other women. It’s a setback. This challenges the idea that violence against women should be taken seriously. »
The sentence, on the other hand, establishes that the two lied, but unequally.
With Agence France-Presse
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