Deep Heard Defamation Trial: What Does the Jury Consider?

FAFA, Virginia (AP) – After a six-week trial, civil jurors in Virginia are considering defamation lawsuits against Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard. The trial showed horrific testimonies with obvious details about the short and unstable marriage of movie stars. But what is it really about? And what will the jury have to decide ?:


Depp has filed a $ 50 million defamation lawsuit against Hurd, claiming that a 2018 article she wrote in The Washington Post damaged his reputation and damaged his career. In the article, Hurd called herself a “public figure representing domestic violence.” Depp is not mentioned by name in the article, but his attorneys have argued that it is clear she meant Depp, given that she publicly accused him of domestic violence during their 2016 divorce proceedings. Hurd’s lawyers said that most of the article was devoted to public policy on domestic violence, and that she was entitled under the first amendment to weigh the issue. They also claim that Depp actually abused Hurd.


During the trial, Hurd described more than a dozen specific cases where she says Depp abused her, including her allegation of sexual assault on her using a bottle of alcohol in an alcoholic rage. Depp denies any physical or sexual abuse and says Hurd has come up with claims to ruin his reputation. He also claimed that she repeatedly attacked him physically.


A jury of seven must decide whether the two passages and the title of the article are defamatory. The form of the jury’s verdict gives the jury instructions on how to determine what, including by asking them, whether Depp’s statements were false and whether they had a defamatory connotation against him. Because Depp is a public figure, Hurd can only be found guilty of libel if a jury decides she acted with “genuine malice,” meaning she either knew she had written falsely or acted with reckless disregard. the truth. Hurd’s lawyers told the jury that Depp’s defamation suit should be dismissed if Hurd suffered at least one incident of abuse.


Hurd filed a $ 100 million counterclaim against Depp after his former lawyer called her allegations a hoax. The counterclaim received less attention during the trial, but Hurd’s attorney told the jury that it allows the jury to compensate Hurd for the harassment Depp inflicted on her by organizing a defamation campaign after they broke up.

In the form of a jury verdict, the jury is asked to decide whether Depp’s former lawyer, who acted as Depp’s agent, made or published three statements concerning Hurd that were false and were noticed by someone other than Hurd. The jury must also decide whether Depp’s lawyer made statements with genuine anger.

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