Jury resumes deliberations in Johnny Depp, Amber Heard’s defamation case

A Fairfax County jury continued deliberations Tuesday morning in the six-week libel trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. The seven-person civil jury returned to court after Memorial Day weekend to deliberate whether either side had been libeled by the other and deserved millions of dollars in damages.

As the jurors had not reached a verdict in the trial by the end of the day on Friday, Judge Penney Azcarate sent the jurors home and asked them to continue deliberations on Tuesday.

It remains to be seen what verdict will be reached by the jurors in the contentious libel trial.

The 58-year-old actor sued his ex-wife in Virginia for $50 million, accusing her of defaming him through a newspaper opinion piece. In response, his ex-wife and the ‘Aquaman’ actress have sued for $100 million, claiming the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star smeared him with his attorney by calling his accusations a hoax.

During the trial, Depp denied hitting his ex-wife or any other women and instead accused Heard of being violent and abusive.

Heard’s December 2018 opinion piece in The Washington Post is at the center of the legal battle. In the article, she called herself a victim of domestic violence. Although the article made no mention of Depp, her attorneys told jurors it was obvious the actress was referring to her ex-husband Depp.

In response to the defamation case, Heard’s attorneys cited the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and argued that Heard’s comments were covered by the amendment as freedom of speech.

For the uninitiated, the two Hollywood stars first met on the sets of ‘The Rum Diary’ in 2011. After dating for a few years, they got married in February 2015. Their divorce was finalized. finalized in 2017, almost two years after their marriage.

During six weeks of proceedings, jurors listened to recordings of the couple’s fights and saw graphic photos of Depp’s bloody finger. He said the top of his finger was severed when Heard threw a bottle of vodka at him in 2015.

Watch | Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard: Seven-person jury deliberations are underway

Heard denied injuring Depp’s finger and said Depp sexually assaulted her that night with a bottle of liquor. She said she only hit him to defend herself or her sister.

The testimony was widely streamed live on social media, drawing large audiences to hear details about the couple’s troubled relationship.

Once among Hollywood’s biggest stars, Depp said Heard’s allegations cost him “everything”. A new “Pirates” movie has been put on hold, and Depp has been replaced in the “Fantastic Beasts” movie franchise, a “Harry Potter” spin-off.

Also Read: Tom Hanks Reveals Queen Elizabeth’s ‘Cocktail of Choice’ During ‘Elvis’ Promotions

Depp lost a libel case less than two years ago against the Sun, a British tabloid which called him a “wife beater”. A High Court judge in London ruled that he assaulted Heard on several occasions.

Depp’s attorneys filed the U.S. case in Fairfax County, Va., because The Washington Post is printed there. The newspaper is not accused.

(With agency contributions)

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