Johnny Depp says 'jury has given me my life back' after winning libel trial Johnny Depp has thanked the jury after the awarded in his favour after a six week libel trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard


After a US jury largely sided with Johnny Depp in his libel battle against Amber Heard, could the verdict help the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star to resurrect his flagging career?

A jubilant Depp on Wednesday said the jury "gave me my life back" as he was awarded more than $10 million in damages for defamation, in contrast to just $2 million for his ex-wife, who had counter-sued.

Central to the high-profile trial were testimonies from Hollywood agents, accountants, and lawyers, who were asked to assess whether the former couple had derailed one another's careers.

Jurors heard from Depp's side that he had lost a $22.5 million payday for a sixth "Pirates" film due to Heard's claims of abuse.

But Heard's legal team introduced witnesses who said her ex-husband's star was already losing its luster due to "unprofessional behavior" which included drinking and drug use.

"The damage that's done is done, and from this, it might start a process back to some sort of normalcy," said a Hollywood producer who has worked with Depp in the past, but asked not to be identified.

"But I don't think he's going to get big, big, big studio jobs where there's so much on the line.

"If he's throwing bottles and taking drugs, and he's late, they're not gonna put up with the tardiness that costs a boatload of money for somebody who isn't a shining star any longer."

Major Hollywood studios may find it difficult to get insurance for mega-budget productions featuring Depp, the producer added.

"It's too risky to put a guy like that into billion-dollar franchises now," they said.

Similarly, while jurors and social media opinion may have swayed in Depp's direction during the trial, that is no guarantee that his box office appeal will return, particularly among women.

"The things he said are vile," said the producer, pointing to text messages introduced during the trial, which featured Depp calling Heard an "idiot cow" and talking about her "rotting corpse."

'Bad boy'

Of course, while not directly comparable, Hollywood titans from Marlon Brando to Mel Gibson have enjoyed massive box office success after seismic controversies.

"I think there are studios that will be willing to work with him at this point," said Karen North, a University of Southern California professor specializing in reputation management.

Despite a string of recent flops, "he's almost always been very good for the box office," she said, noting that Depp is "as much in the public eye now as he ever has been because of the trial."

While a comeback from lurid accounts of alcohol- and drug-fueled binges could be problematic for someone with a more clean-cut image, Depp "has never said that he was a mild-mannered do-gooder."

"When somebody is a bit of a bad boy... when they're accused of doing something that involves being volatile, people say, 'Well, I'm not surprised -- it doesn't change who I think that person is.'"

"I think Johnny Depp is gonna come back personally, it makes sense," said North.

"That's assuming that he wants to, right? He has a lot of choices."

Depp spent the days before the verdict playing rock concerts in England with guitarist Jeff Beck, potentially demonstrating his interest is broader than a silver-screen comeback.

'French films'

And if he were to return to the big screen, it would not necessarily need to be in glitzy Hollywood.

"He could become an indie darling, where the shoots are six to eight weeks, the payment is $250,000, and he gets 25 percent of the ownership of the movie, or something like that," said the producer who worked with Depp.

"And he could get nominated for some cool little role where the stakes aren't so high, and the budget's a couple million bucks, and he blows people away with some crazy performance."

And failing that?

"He'll work in Europe. I mean, they don't care about this kind of thing," said the producer.

"He'll make French films. He'll make German films."

Actor Johnny Depp released a powerful statement after a jury ruled in his favor against his ex-wife Amber Heard in the defamation case that captivated the country.

Released to his Instagram account, Depp said unfounded allegations of domestic abuse have destroyed his reputation and career as he thanked the jury for giving him his life back.

His full statement:

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.

False, very serious, and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me. It had already traveled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career.

And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.

My decision to pursue this case, knowing very well the height of the legal hurdles that I would be facing in the inevitable, worldwide spectacle into my life, was only made after considerable thought.

From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. 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.

I am and have been, overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and the colossal support and kindness from around the world. I hope that my quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who I found themselves in my situation, and that those supporting them never give up. I also hope that the position will now return to innocent until proven guilty, both within the courts and in the media.

I wish to acknowledge the noble work of the judge, the jurors, the court staff and the sheriffs of sacrifice their own time to get to this point, and to my diligent and unwavering legal team who did an extraordinary job in helping me to share the truth.

The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun.

Veritas numquam perit.
Truth never perishes.

Depp sued Heard for having defamed him in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she claimed to be a victim of domestic abuse. Though Heard did not name Depp, the context was enough to malign her ex-husband as an abuser.

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“The jury found for Depp on all three of his defamation claims regarding the op-ed, awarding him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Notably, the jury found that a statement accusing Depp of sexual violence and domestic abuse was defamatory,” Breitbart News noted. “The jury found for Heard on only one of her two claims, awarding her $2 million in compensatory damages but no punitive damages, sending a message that they found her more at fault.”

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