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Washington Post adds editor’s note to Amber Heard’s 2018 op-ed after Johnny Depp verdict

Ms Heard testified that op-ed was not about ex-husband Johnny Depp, but jury says she defamed him

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Friday 03 June 2022 08:41 BST
Related Video: Amber Heard attorney reacts to Johnny Depp verdict
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Following the verdict in the dueling defamation suits filed by Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, the op-ed at the centre of his claim against her has been amended.

The Washington Post has added an editor’s note to the article bylined by Ms Heard and originally published in both print and online on 18 December 2018.

Wednesday’s verdict in Fairfax County, Virginia, home to the news outlet’s servers, and hence the location of the trial, found Ms Heard liable for three counts of defamation against Mr Depp, her ex-husband with whom she had a troubled relationship between 2012 and 2016.

The article remains online, with the addition of the note, which begins: “In 2019, Johnny Depp sued Amber Heard for defamation arising out of this 2018 op-ed. On June 1, 2022, following a trial in Fairfax County, V. Circuit Court, a jury found Heard liable on three counts for the following statements, which Depp claimed were false and defamatory.”

The statements include the headline: “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.”

The two other sentences at issue in the court case found to have defamed Mr Depp, are: “Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out;” and: “I had the rare vantage point of seeing, in real time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse.”

The editor’s note ends with the line: “The jury separately found that Depp, through his lawyer Adam Waldman, defamed Heard in one of three counts in her countersuit.”

Ms Heard does not mention Mr Depp by name in the article as an abuser and maintains the op-ed is not about him, something with which jurors in Virginia apparently did not agree.

After seven weeks of evidence in which both Ms Heard and Mr Depp — as well as a host of friends, family, employees, and expert witnesses — recounted very different versions of incidents within the tumultuous relationship, the jury deliberated for a total of 13 hours.

Ms Heard has been ordered to pay her ex-husband $10.4m in damages and he is to pay her $2m for the actions of his former attorney Mr Waldman.

According to her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft, Ms Heard will appeal.

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