American actress Amber Heard arrives at the High Court in London where she is giving evidence as a defence witness in the Johnny Depp libel trial against “The Sun” newspaper over an article that claimed Mr.Depp was a “wife-beater” in July 2020. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo
The Washington Post has added an editor’s note to the op-ed written by actress Amber Heard at the center of the headline-making defamation trial between Heard and ex-husband Johnny Depp.
The editor’s note, which was quietly added by the newspaper to the 2018 article by Heard on Thursday, noted that the jury had ruled in favor of Depp that the article was false and defamatory against him.
In her article, headlined “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change,” Heard did not mention Depp by name but accused the Pirates of the Caribbean star of committing acts of domestic violence against her during their brief marriage.
“In 2019, Johnny Depp sued Amber Heard for defamation arising out of this 2018 op-ed,” the Washington Post noted, pointing to the particular parts of the op-ed that the jury had found false and defamatory.
“The jury separately found that Depp, through his lawyer Adam Waldman, defamed Heard in one of three counts in her countersuit.”
In 2018, Depp had filed a libel lawsuit against the parent company of The Sun after the British tabloid called him a “wife-beater” in a headline.
Heard had obtained a temporary restraining order during the former couple’s 2016 divorce proceedings in which she first accused Depp of assault.
Heard had testified for the tabloid during that trial, which Depp lost in 2020, along with subsequent appeals. That case required The Sun show that Heard’s claims were true, which the British judge said could be “proved to the civil standard.”
Depp, 58, then filed the $50 million lawsuit against his The Rum Diary co-star for the Washington Post op-ed and Heard filed a countersuit against Depp for $100 million after his lawyer said her abuse allegations were false.
The case filed in Fairfax County, where the Washington Post is printed, had notable differences from the British trial including that Depp faced off with Heard directly rather than suing the Washington Post.
The jury ultimately awarded Depp a total of $15 million in damages — $10 million in compensatory and $5 million in punitive, which was lowered to a statutory $350,000. The jury also awarded $2 million in compensatory damages to Heard.
Heard’s lawyer said Thursday that the Aquaman actor plans to appeal a jury’s verdict and is unable to pay the damages awarded to Depp.