Johnny Depp has won his defamation suit against ex-wife Amber Heard, 36, and he is celebrating overseas. The 58-year-old Edward Scissorhands actor was spotted leaving The Bridge Tavern pub in Newcastle, England looking content as fans cheered him on along his path on June 1 just as the verdict was released. Johhny walked quickly, but smiled and even high-fived some fans. He also snapped a photo with famed guitarist Jeff Beck, 77, British musician Sam Fender, 28, and others while sitting down at the pub.
— Artist formally known as John PB ⚫⚪ (@boywonder012345) June 1, 2022
Johnny has been in the UK since earlier this week, as he jetted off from Virginia, where his defamation lawsuit was taking place, to play alongside Jeff in Sheffield, England. He performed several songs with Beck on the night of May 29, including a cover of John Lennon‘s “Isolation.” He seemed in his element as he rocked out on his guitar sporting a black and white checkered blazer and black pants.
Spotted: Johnny Depp leaving The Bridge Tavern pub in Newcastle 📲
— ITV News Tyne Tees (@itvtynetees) June 1, 2022
Johnny did not return to Fairfax, Va. to hear the verdict of his trial, which had been active since April 12. Amber’s spokesperson called out Johnny for not being in court leading up to the verdict. “Your presence shows where your priorities are. [He] plays guitar in the UK while [she] waits for a verdict in Virginia,” they said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight.
The actor had sued his ex-wife for $50 million over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018 about being a survivor of domestic abuse. While she never stated his name, he was thought to be the abuser in her story. Johnny said her defamatory statements ruined his reputation and made him lose out on lucrative deals. Amber had countersued for $100 million, also claiming defamation. In the end, the seven-person jury found that statements made by Amber in the op-ed were defamatory against Johnny. They awarded him $15 million in damages, although the judge reduced the $5 million punitive damages award to $350,000, which is the maximum payment for punitive damages in the state of Virginia. Johnny was ordered to pay $2 million to Amber, as the jury decided his attorney, Adam Waldman, defamed the Aquaman actress by calling her 2016 claims of abuse a “hoax.” In total, Johnny is owed $8.35million in damages.
Following the verdict, both sides released a statement on social media. “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 in his Instagram post. “And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.”
He ended his post with a message of gratitude to anyone who supported him through the turbulent years. “I am, and have been, overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and the colossal support and kindness from around the world. I hope that my quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my situation, and that those supporting them never give up,” he said. “I also hope that the position will now return to innocent until proven guilty, both within the courts and in the media.”
— Amber Heard (@realamberheard) June 1, 2022
Meanwhile, Amber called the ruling a “setback” for women. “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. 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,” she wrote. “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.”
She added, “I believe Johnny’s attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech and ignore evidence that was so conclusive that we won in the UK. 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.”