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Johnny Depp says jury "gave me my life back" after winning libel suit against ex-wife Amber Heard

Jury awards millions to Johnny Depp
Jury awards millions to Johnny Depp, less to Amber Heard in libel suits 02:36

A jury on Wednesday unanimously ruled in Johnny Depp's favor in his multimillion dollar defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard. Moments after the verdict was announced, Depp, who was not present in the court at the time, released a statement on Instagram, saying that the jury "gave me my life back." 

"Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also, the lives of the people, who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed. All in the blink of an eye," he wrote, in what appears to be a statement written on a typewriter. 

Depp continued that the media threw "false, very serious and criminal allegations" at him, triggering an "endless barrage of hateful content." 

"It had already traveled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career," he said. "And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled." 

Depp sued Heard for $50 million for a Washington Post op-ed she wrote in December 2018 in which she described herself as "a public figure representing domestic abuse." Heard never mentioned Depp by name in the article, but Depp's lawyers argued throughout the trial that he was defamed by its contents. 

Heard countersued for twice that amount, saying that Depp's team had defamed her by saying her abuse claims were a hoax. 

On Wednesday, after hearing six weeks of hearing from both parties, as well as a number of witnesses, about numerous claims of violent abuse, the jury agreed on a mixed verdict: Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, while Heard received $2 million. The judge said state law caps punitive damages at $350,000, meaning Depp's award would total $10.35 million.

"From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome," Depp continued in his statement. "Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me. I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that." 

He went on to say that he hopes his "quest to have truth" has helped others who have found themselves in his "situation" to never give up. 

"The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun," he said. "Veritas numquam perit. Truth never perishes." 

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