Amber Heard was found by a jury to have defamed Johnny Depp by portraying herself as a victim of domestic abuse in an op-ed piece. On Friday, June 24, the judge in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial made the jury’s verdict official by issuing a written order directing Heard to pay Depp $10.35 million.
Judge Penney Azcarate placed a judgment order into the court file following a brief hearing in Fairfax County Circuit Court. She also mandated that Depp pay Heard the $2 million judgment award on her counterclaim that one of Depp’s attorneys had slandered Heard.
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.
Heard wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post in December 2018 referring to herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse,” and Depp filed a lawsuit as a result. All three of Depp’s claims relating to certain remarks in the 2018 essay were upheld by the jury.
The court cut the punitive damages award to $350,000 due to a state cap even though the jury determined Depp should receive $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
Heard has stated that she intends to contest the judgment.
The court stated during the hearing on Friday that if Heard appeals, she will need to post a bond covering the entire $10.35 million awards while the appeal is underway. Both awards are entitled to 6% interest annually, according to the judge’s order.
In addition, she would have to pay $480,000 more in interest.
The Post claims that the judge rejected all of Heard’s suggested revisions and instead entered Depp’s version of the verdict on paper.