A jury on Wednesday reached a verdict in a high-profile defamation case between “Pirates of the Caribbean” star Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Hard.
A seven-member Virginia jury in Fairfax County Circuit Court near the U.S. capital has been hearing the case for about 13 hours over three days.
The court said the verdict would be read at 3:00 pm (1900 GMT).
A spokesman for Hard said he was preparing to go to court once the jury reached its verdict. Depp, who has been in England for the past few days, was not expected to be present, according to ABC News.
The final argument in the case was held on Friday after a six-week trial over allegations of domestic violence and counter-claims among Hollywood celebrities.
Depp, 58, sued Hard for an op-ed written for the Washington Post in December 2018, in which he described himself as a “public figure representing domestic violence.”
Hard, who was born in Texas and starred in “Aquaman,” did not name Depp in the segment, but sued him for being a domestic abuser and seeking $ 50 million in damages.
Hard, 36, filed a 100 million counter-claim, saying he was defamed by a statement from Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, who told the Daily Mail that his abuse claims were a “fraud.”
The jury is working hard through a special judgment form that contains dozens of questions.
The eight-page judgment form contains 24 questions about Depp’s case against Hard and 18 questions about his counter-case against him.
Statements were needed both to prove defamatory, and in order to win compensatory or punitive damages, the jury must find out whether they were fabricated with real malice – whether they were false or “reckless negligence” whether they were false or not.
Depp flew to England on Memorial Day weekend and surprisingly attended Jeff Beck’s concert in Sheffield on Sunday and the Royal Albert Hall in London on Monday and Tuesday.
Depp, a guitarist, has his own band Hollywood Vampire with Alice Cooper and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry.
A spokesman for Hard said in a statement: “Your presence shows where your priorities are.
“Johnny Depp is playing the guitar in the UK while Amber Hard is waiting for the verdict in Virginia. Depp misses her humor and lack of importance on the tour.”
Dozens of witnesses, including bodyguards, Hollywood executives, agents, entertainment industry experts, doctors, friends and relatives, testified during the trial.
Depp and Heard each spent days witnessing the televised trial, which was attended by hundreds of fans of the “Pirates” star and with the #JusticeForJohnnyDepp campaign on social media.
The jury played video and audio recordings of heated, obscene arguments between the couple, which also showed images of injuries allegedly suffered by Hard during their troubled relationship.
Hours of testimony were devoted to the serious injury of Depp’s finger while shooting an installment of “Pirates” in Australia in March 2015.
Depp claimed that the tip of one finger was severed when Hard threw a bottle of vodka at him. Hard says he doesn’t know how the injury happened.
They both agreed that Depp had used bloody numbers to scroll through walls, lampshades and mirrors.
Hard said Depp would become a physically and sexually abusive “monster” while consuming alcohol and drugs and would resist his repeated attempts to stop his drinking and drug use.
Depp testified that Hardy was often violent and said it was “brutal” to hear “foreign” allegations of domestic violence against him.
“No man is perfect, of course not, neither are we, but I have never in my life been sexually battered, physically abused,” he said.
Hard, who was married to Depp from 2015 to 2017, received a restraining order against him in May 2016, citing domestic violence.
Depp, a three-time Oscar nominee, filed a defamation suit against the British tabloid The Sun in London for calling her a “wife-beater”. He lost the case in November 2020.
Both sides have claimed the loss of their Hollywood careers.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)