Johnny Depp's star lawyer Camille Vasquez has spoken out after a Virginia jury ruled in the Pirates of the Caribbean star's favor in Depp's $50 million libel lawsuit against Amber Heard. Following a six-week-long trial, the jury on Wednesday awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, agreeing with his claims that he was defamed by her claims in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed that she was the victim of domestic violence. Heard, meanwhile, was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages.
"Today's verdict confirms what we have said from the beginning, that the claims against Johnny Depp are defamatory and unsupported by any evidence," Vasquez said outside the courtroom, per E! News. "We are grateful, so grateful to the jury for their careful deliberation, to the judge and the court staff who have devoted an enormous amount of time and resources towards this case."
The actor's other attorney, Benjamin Crew, expressed a similar sentiment. In a statement released shortly after the verdict was delivered, Crew noted that "our judicial system is predicated on each person's right to have his or her case heard and we were honored, truly honored, to assist Mr. Depp in ensuring that his case was fairly considered throughout the trial." Crew went on to say that Depp's team is "most pleased that the trial has resonated for so many people in the public who value truth and justice," adding, "now that the jury has reached its conclusive verdict, it's time to turn the page and look to the future."
While Depp and his attorneys have expressed gratitude for the jury and the verdict they reached, Heard and her team have expressed their disappointment. In a statement released just after the verdict was delivered, the actress said she was "heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence and sway of my ex-husband." Heard also expressed concern that the verdict "sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously."
The jury of five men and two women deliberated for nearly 13 hours, spread over the course of three days, before returning their verdict Wednesday afternoon. In addition to finding that Heard defamed Depp in that 2018 op-ed, the jury also found that the actress was defamed by one of Depp's lawyers, who accused her of creating a detailed hoax. Speaking on the Today show Thursday morning, Heard's lawyer Elaine Charlson Bredehof said Depp's team worked to "demonize" Heard and was able to suppress "an enormous amount of evidence. Bredehof added that the verdict was "a horrible message" and a "significant setback."