March 28, 2023

The verdict in the defamation case of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard fell this week. The Virginia (USA) jury found in favor of Depp and awarded him $10 million and Heard $2 million in damages. Heard was found guilty of defaming her ex-husband in an op-ed she published in 2018 after a six-week trial that saw Hollywood stars make shocking revelations about their marriage. However, prior to the highly publicized trial, a previous trial took place in the UK, which Johnny Depp lost.

For context, Johnny Depp has sued UK news portal The Sun after their article called the Pirates of the Caribbean star a “wife beater” for allegedly assaulting Amber Heard. The Aquaman actress testified in abuse cases from 2013 to 2016. The judge ruled that 12 cases of domestic violence occurred and acknowledged the evidence against Johnny. Claims by the actor and his attorney that Amber’s testimony is a “hoax” have been dismissed. Johnny Depp lost the lawsuit in the UK.

Johnny Depp United Kingdom

So why did Johnny Depp win his libel case in the US when he’s still a ‘wife-beater’ in the UK? According to BBC reports, media lawyer Mark Stephens said a key difference between the two trials is that the UK trial was before a judge while the US trial was before a jury. . Depp’s lawyers claimed Heard lied to undermine her testimony and, in turn, prove she was abusive. According to Stephens, this is a well-known strategy called “Darvo” – “denying, attacking and reversing victim and aggressor”.

He said: “They deny they did anything, they deny being the real perpetrator, and they attack the credibility of the individual who reports the abuse, then reverse the roles of victim and abuser.” The UK judge apparently did not buy into the strategy. “Lawyers and judges tend not to fall for it, but it’s very, very effective against juries,” Stephens added.

Johnny Depp United Kingdom

In the United States, Johnny Depp emerged victorious from the libel case in which he sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for 50 million dollars. Meanwhile, Heard had counterattacked for $100 million. Following the verdict, the Johnny Depp fan showed his support for her as many shared concerns for victims of abuse as Amber Heard was trolled and mocked throughout the trial.

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