‘This was not justice’: Amber Heard’s fans condemn the ‘sexist’ jury after they ruled in favor of her ex-husband Johnny Depp in their defamation case
Heard, 36, said she was ‘heartbroken’ after the five men and two women of the jury found her account of being abused by Depp was largely untrue.
She was ordered by the court to pay him $15 million in damages. The jury found her partially vindicated, and awarded her $2 million, but the verdict was overwhelmingly in his favor.
Heard’s fans, who have been massively outnumbered by Depp’s vocal and devoted supporters, were shocked and saddened by the decision, at the end of the six week trial in Virginia.
‘This jury is a racist, sexist fan-group and nothing more,’ said one person, who said they initially backed Depp.
‘I have no hope for women – ever.’
The jury was a mix of white, black and Asian people.
Another added: ‘My heart goes out to Amber. F*** that sexist jury and f*** this sexist country!’
Heard (pictured in court on Wednesday as the verdict was read), countersued for $100million, claiming that Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman made defamatory statements by calling her claims a ‘hoax’
Heard and Johnny Depp are seen in October 2015, eight months after their wedding. They would divorce in January 2017
One woman, Gretchen Summs, who said she was a survivor of sexual assault, denounced the judicial system.
‘I stand with you and I believe you, Amber,’ she said.
‘You were so brave, strong and articulate in sharing your experiences.
‘This was not justice.
‘Sending you love and strength.’
Comedian Amy Schumer posted a Gloria Steinem quote to her Instagram page.
‘Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke . . . She will need her sisterhood,’ Schumer wrote.
Many of Heard’s fans, operating accounts such as @istandwithamber, echoed her comments.
‘My darling girl, you did everything you could. You did everything RIGHT. I am so proud of you and we will never stop fighting. We are always with you,’ said one.
‘You’ll never ever be alone. We stand by you, now and always. These people were blindsided by a river of lies. Don’t ever give up speaking your truth. YOU ARE HEARD!’ said another.
Heard, 36, is pictured leaving court on Wednesday after the verdict in the defamation trial
The blockbuster defamation trial between feuding exes Johnny Depp and Amber Heard captivated the nation after it kicked off in April
Depp is seen with his lawyer Camille Vasquez, who became a social media ‘star’ during the trial
Another added: ‘I’m so sorry.
‘You are and you’ll always be the strongest person I know. Don’t forget that I love you so much and I’ll stand by your side always, no matter what.’
One commented: ‘You were so amazing and strong these last few days! I’m very proud of you and I didn’t stop praying and defending you every day! I never get tired of saying how wonderful you are and how much I love you. YOU ARE HEARD! I’ve never been as proud of anyone as I am of you!’
Another, responding to Heard’s statement after the trial, said: ‘I’m so sorry angel. your bravery and strength to stand up for yourself & all survivors won’t go unnoticed. we’ll always stand with you. stay strong there.’
Depp’s lawyer said on Wednesday that the jury’s verdict ‘confirms what we have said from the beginning’ – insisting that the allegations he abused Heard were without evidence and defamatory.
Speaking outside the court in Fairfax, Virginia, a jubilant Camille Vasquez praised the five men and two women of the jury for their decision, reached at the end of a six week trial and after 12 hours of deliberations.
They found overwhelmingly in the 58-year-old Depp’s favor, and decided that Heard, 36, had defamed him with her 2018 Washington Post op ed.
The jury awarded him $15 million in damages, and her $2 million for one part of her counter-claim.
‘Today’s verdict confirms what we have said from the beginning – that the claims against Johnny Depp are defamatory and unsupported by any evidence,’ said Vasquez.
‘We are grateful, so grateful to the jury for their careful deliberation.’
Depp’s lead attorneys Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew are seen outside of the courtroom after Depp’s victory
Throngs of reporters and fans are seen crowding around Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew as they speak outside the courthouse after the verdict
Vasquez and Chew hug after the jury in Virginia delivered their verdict on Wednesday
Depp was not in court for the verdict, having traveled to England to perform with his band.
Heard struggled to keep her composure, but was calm. Immediately after she issued a statement, saying she was ‘heartbroken’ and describing it as a setback for free speech and for women.
‘The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,’ she said.
‘I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband.
‘I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback. It 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.
‘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.’
Over six weeks at the court in Fairfax, Virginia, Depp called 38 witnesses while Heard called 24. Depp and Heard met on the set of the 2011 movie The Rum Diary, turning up on the red carpet together for its London premiere in 2011
Vasquez fiercely cross-examined Heard, 36, earlier this week and in one memorable exchange forced the Aquaman actress to admit she had not donated her $7million divorce settlement to charity as she had pledged
Body language experts claimed the pair’s’ ‘flirtatious’ behavior might just be a tactic to try and boost the actor’s case, but fans speculate a more romantic connection
The ‘intense’ chemistry and and touchy-feely relationship between Johnny Depp and Camille Vasquez added a frisson of sexual tension to the bitter trial
Depp pats attorney Camille Vasquez on the back in the courtroom on May 17
Depp, meanwhile, thanked the jury for their verdict, which ‘gave me my life back.’
‘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,’ he wrote.
Depp said he was faced with an ‘endless barrage of hateful content.’
‘From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome,’ Depp continued in his statement.
‘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.’
He went on to say that he hopes his ‘quest to have truth’ has helped others who have found themselves in his ‘situation’ to never give up.
Heard could still choose to lodge an appeal against the decision, but legal analysts believe it is unlikely to be effective, unless new evidence emerges.