For the past six weeks, Johnny Depp's $50 million defamation trial has remained a viral case, as over 100 hours of testimonies have been delivered in the Virginia court and broadcast on CourtTV. Following riches of information from Depp and his lawyers on his side of the story and Amber Heard’s defense, a seven-person jury is tasked with coming to a unanimous decision regarding whether Heard defamed the Pirates star. So what happens next?
The jury will continue to deliberate on the case after the holiday weekend, this Tuesday at Fairfax County Circuit Court after hearing closing arguments from both sides this past Friday. In order to come to a decision, the jury will follow step-by-step instructions on a verdict form that include them weighing seven questions regarding The Pirates of the Caribbean star's assertion that his ex-wife damaged his reputation through her 2018 op-ed.
Based on the information presented during the six-week trial, they will have to decide whether Amber Heard’s article implies or insinuates anything about her former husband and whether they were false or written with intention of malice. Additionally, they will have to address Heard’s $100 million countersuit, which Depp tried and failed to get the judge to throw out, where they’ll have to decide on six questions regarding whether the claims made by Johnny Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, claims were made on behalf of Depp and whether they're false and/or made with malice, per a Washington Post report.
Much of the public discussion about the couple’s legal battles have revolved around whether Heard is lying about her numerous claims of physical abuse and assault, with the Aquaman actress saying that her ex tried to “kill” her. The Oscar nominee, on the other hand, has claimed that Heard is lying, with his lawyer Camille Vasquez claiming in her closing argument that her testimony has too many holes to be believable.
However, the decision of the case itself will be decided based on Johnny Depp’s defamation claims. The burden of proof the jury is faced with is about whether they have defamed one another regardless of public sentiment and opinion, which has overwhelmingly leaned to the side of Depp. During the high-profile trial, Depp fans have rallied to his side in droves, bringing alpacas outside the courthouse, and in one recent moment, a spectator was kicked out for screaming that she and Depp were soulmates and “this baby is yours” during testimonies.
Johnny Depp fans have also created petitions to see him return as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, with over 740,000 signatures as of this article’s publication. A separate petition is also asking that Warner Bros. remove Amber Heard from upcoming movie Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and it's received over 4.3 million signatures as of this writing. Heard recently spoke to the online hate she's received during the trial, calling it "agonizing." As for the verdict for this case, we'll just have to wait this week for the jury to deliver the verdict.
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