Johnny Depp has won his libel lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard after one of the most closely watched celebrity trials in years. The AP reports that the jury awarded Depp $15 million in damages, well below the $50 million he had sought. The jury also awarded Heard $2 million in her $100 million countersuit. Depp sued Heard over a Washington Post op-ed in which she called herself "a public figure representing domestic abuse." She countersued over his attorney calling the abuse allegations a hoax. During the six-week trial, the two sides presented what Variety calls "dramatically different versions of reality," with Depp denying he had ever hit Heard—and saying he was the real victim of domestic abuse.
Heard testified that the first of numerous assaults from Depp happened soon after they started dating in 2011. Depp was not in court for the verdict. He is in the UK, where he appeared onstage with guitarist Jeff Beck at concerts on Sunday and Monday nights. He was seen in a pub in Newcastle, England, ahead of the verdict, the Independent reports. "Your presence shows where your priorities are. Johnny Depp plays guitar in the UK while Amber Heard waits for a verdict in Virginia," a Heard rep told the New York Post.
Before the verdict, Monica Lewinsky spoke out about the case, saying it was being treated as a "pure car wreck: accessible, tawdry, and immediately gratifying." "It would be sad enough even if we just considered how it has impacted domestic violence survivors or those who have sought strength in the #MeToo movement," she wrote at Vanity Fair. "However, it’s the larger implications for our culture that concern me the most: the ways we have stoked the flames of misogyny and, separately, the celebrity circus." She noted that the "cruel and vitriolic discourse was predominantly aimed at the woman." (Read more Johnny Depp stories.)