The judge in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial on Friday, June 24, made a jury’s award official with a written order for Heard to pay Depp $10.35 million for damaging his reputation by describing herself as a domestic abuse victim in an op-ed piece she wrote.
During a brief hearing in Fairfax County Circuit Court, Judge Penney Azcarate entered a judgment order into the court record. She also ordered Depp to pay Heard $2 million, the jury’s award on her counterclaim that Heard was defamed by one of Depp’s lawyers.
The order was a formality after the jury announced its verdict on June 1, largely siding with Depp after a sensational trial in which the couple revealed lurid details of their short marriage during a televised trial that was closely followed on social media.
Depp sued Heard over a December 2020 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” The jury found in Depp’s favor on all three of his claims relating to specific statements in the 2020 piece.
The jury found Depp should receive $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, but the judge reduced the punitive damages award to $350,000 under a state cap.
Heard has said she plans to appeal the verdict.
During Friday’s hearing, the judge said that if Heard appeals, she must post a bond for the full amount of the $10.35 million awards while the appeal is pending. The judge’s order says both awards are subject to 6% interest per year.
She would also need to add an additional $480,000 in interest payments.
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