The highly-publicized defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard came to a close on Wednesday (June 1) when a jury ruled in favor of the Pirates of the Caribbean actor.
On Thursday, one of Heard's attorneys, Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, spoke to TODAY about the verdict and reaction to the trial in general, saying her client was "demonized" by Depp's legal team and that "an enormous amount of evidence" was suppressed.
"A number of things were allowed in this court that should not have been allowed, and it caused the jury to be confused," Bredehoft said, adding of the verdict, "It's a horrible message. It's a significant setback, because that's exactly what it means. Unless you pull out your phone and you video your spouse or your significant other beating you, effectively you won't be believed."
Depp sued his ex-wife for $50 million following an op-ed she wrote in 2018 for the Washington Post where she identified as a victim of domestic abuse. Though she didn't name Depp in the essay, he claims the allegations negatively impacted his career. Heard then countersued her ex for $100 million.
Following the verdict in Depp's favor, the jury awarded the Fantastic Beasts actor $10 million in compensatory damages for lost career opportunities and $5 million in punitive damages for "clear and convincing evidence" that Heard defamed him in the essay, per TODAY. The judge reduced the punitive damages to $350,000, for a total of $10.4 million to be awarded to Depp. Bredehoft, however, said the Aquaman actress is "absolutely not" able to pay that amount.
Heard was also awarded $2 million after the jury deemed one statement by Depp and his team to be defamatory.