Hours after after jurors announced they’d reached a verdict in the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial, the presiding judge told them to return to the jury room and finish filling out the verdict form.
From observation, jurors may have found at least one party liable but did not fill out monetary damages it would award, according to Judge Penney Azcarate. Jurors were instructed to decide whether to award compensatory and punitive damages if they found any party liable of defamation.
“When you find for a defamatory statement one or more you need to fill out the compensatory damages,” Azcarate told the jurors in open court. “It has to be at least $1 and up to whatever you feel the damages should be. For punitive damages, you can put a 0 there or you can fill out those as we.”
Depp sued Heard for defamation for $50 million over a 2018 op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Though Depp was not named in the article, he claims it cost him lucrative acting roles. Heard countersued for $100 million, over statements Depp’s attorney made about her abuse claims. Heard and Depp met in 2009 and were married from 2015-2016.
The defamation trial has been underway since April and jurors have heard over a 100 hours of testimony altogether. They’ve heard from dozens of witnesses, including live testimony from Depp and Heard, and deliberated for almost 14 hours before reaching a verdict. Depp is not in court for the verdict due to “previously scheduled work commitments,” a source close to Depp told to CNN, adding that he “will be watching from the United Kingdom.”
Heard is in court awaiting the verdict.