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Johnny Depp WINS the defamation case – but what happens next?

How much money will he get?

After six weeks of gruelling court days, the jury has unanimously decided Johnny Depp *was* defamed by Amber Heard in her 2018 Washington Post article.

This means Depp has successfully sued his ex-wife for millions of pounds. He originally set out to claim £40 million ($50 million), while she countersued for £81 million ($100 million) in damages.

The panel of seven told the court they believed the actress wrote the op-ed with “malicious” intent, and that they don’t believe she was truly assaulted by Depp throughout their relationship.

Although the internet is celebrating “Justice for Johnny Depp” – is it really as cut-and-dry as that? Let’s deep-dive into the verdict and see what the facts of this outcome actually are:

How much money does Johnny Depp stand to gain?

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Depp will be awarded £12 million ($15 million) for defamation, despite his lawyers originally seeking around £35 million ($45 million) more than that.

But, this doesn’t mean Amber Heard walks away with nothing. Despite Depp’s big win, Heard will still be awarded £1.5 million ($2 million) in compensatory damages – around £80 million less than her lawyers fought for.

Here’s the confusing part – despite Depp being awarded £4 million in punitive damages (money given in order to punish the opposing side), Virginia law limits this amount to £280,000. So, he’ll actually be getting far less than £12 million.

What did the verdict mean?

The jury needed to prove Amber Heard’s op-ed: “I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change” actually did tangible damage to Johnny Depp’s career. Despite the actor not being named at all throughout the piece, the jury were confident Heard was talking about him.

They also concluded the statement, “(I’m) a public figure representing domestic abuse”, was false. They believed she acted with “malice” in order to take the actor down. This was the consensus across all seven jurors.

Amber was similarly found to be defamed in an article published about her in the Daily Mail. It read: “Quite simply, this was an ambush, a hoax. They set Mr. Depp up by calling the cops, but the first attempt did not do the trick. The officers came to the penthouses, thoroughly searched and interviewed, and left after seeing no damage to face or property.

“So Amber and her friends spilled a little wine and roughed the place up, got their story straight under the direction of a lawyer and publicist, and then placed a second call to 9-1-1.”

What’s next for the pair?

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Johnny Depp released a lengthy statement on Instagram: “Six years (after the divorce), the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.” He was seen out with Sam Fender in Newcastle while the verdict was taking place. The future of his career is still unknown, but rumours are already flying around about him starring in the Beetlejuice reboot in three years’ time.

Amber Heard tweeted her statement: “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” she said. “I’m sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American – to speak freely and openly.”

Her tweets were later deleted.

It was revealed just hours ago that the actress plans to appeal the verdict.

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Featured image via Shutterstock.