May 28, 2022

May 28, 2022 

Jurors started their deliberations Friday in the civil libel trial between actors Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard, following six weeks of courtroom drama that peeled back the curtain on the stars’ troubled marriage.

Depp is suing Heard for $50 million in Virginia’s Fairfax County Circuit Court over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” 

Judge Penney Azcarate gave the jury its instructions Friday morning, ahead of the start of closing arguments from Depp and Heard’s attorneys. When the jury deliberates, it will have to focus not only on whether there was abuse but also whether Heard’s op-ed piece can be considered legally defamatory. 

The article itself focuses mostly on policy questions of domestic violence, but Depp’s lawyer pointed to two passages in the article, as well as an online headline that they say defamed Depp, even though the article never mentioned his name.

“She didn’t mention his name. She didn’t have to,” said Depp lawyer Benjamin Chew. “Everyone knew exactly who and what Ms. Heard was talking about.”

 

Watch Rachel Fiset at https://www.cbsnews.com/live-updates/johnny-depp-amber-heard-lawsuit-jury-deliberations-start/