The verdict of the trial-river for defamation of the ex-spouses Depp-Heard could surprise.
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The two ex-spouses were found guilty of defamation and sentenced, but in very different proportions. Amber Heard will have to pay $10.35 million in compensatory and punitive damages to Johnny Depp, who will have to pay $2 million in compensatory damages to his accuser.
The very large difference in sentences may seem incomprehensible to some, starting with Amber Heard who did not hesitate to declare, on NBC News, that the trial had been influenced by social networks.
One of the seven members of the jury agreed to speak to an ABC reporter on condition of anonymity.
And the reason has nothing to do with Twitter or TikTok: Amber Heard simply did not convince them and her statements seemed to her to highlight contradictions between her actions and the facts mentioned.
“They had couple arguments. They were yelling at each other. I don't think that makes either of them right. This is what happens when we argue. But to get to the level of what she was claiming, there was not enough or any evidence to support what she was saying. If you are a battered woman, why buy the other, "aggressor", a knife? If you really want Johnny Depp to get drugs, why are you taking them in his presence?” he wonders.
The material “evidence” presented by the actress also underlines the fragility of the testimony.
Thus, Amber Heard describes Johnny Depp as a heavy user of drugs and alcohol and she uses a photo of the collapsed actor as proof.
"But," the juror said, "if you mix alcohol with marijuana, that's how you're going to end up — you pass out. We discussed at length all the drugs she claimed he was taking, and most of them are drugs that turn you off. You don't get violent with these drugs. You become a zombie, as seen in the photos.”
No more convincing are the photos of Amber Heard covered in bruises.
“She never goes out without makeup, but to file a restraining order in court, she does not wear makeup and her publicist is with her. These things add up and start to become hard to believe, ”says the member of the jury, who did not appreciate Amber Heard’s attitude in court any more and who questions his sincerity.
“It was like she could go from one emotion to another with the snap of her fingers. She would answer a question, start crying, and two seconds later she was freezing. It didn't look natural," he said, explaining that the jurors had dubbed it "crocodile tears."
The seven jurors (five men, two women) also did not appreciate that Amber Heard kept the divorce money, when she announced that she had donated these 7 million dollars to charities.
She not only lied - since she had claimed in an interview to have given the entire sum, whereas she had paid only a tiny part of it -, but in addition the excuse that she brought in court (having to keep the money to defend against a lawsuit brought by Johnny Depp) did not fit with the chronology of the facts.
"The fact that she didn't give much was hypocritical," the juror commented.
He also spoke about Amber Heard's comments after the trial, who accused the jury of having been manipulated and influenced by social networks, mostly favorable to Johnny Depp.
“That is not true. Social media has had no impact on us. We focused on the evidence. We did not take into account what happened outside the court. […] There were serious charges and a lot of money at stake, we did not take it lightly, ”he insisted, specifying that neither he nor at least three other members of the jury didn't have a Twitter account.
This bad impression and the weakness of her argument and the evidence she put forward therefore earned Amber Heard heavy punitive damages, from which Johnny Depp is exempt.
The actress, who says she wants "people to see me as a human being" in the filmed interview she gave to NBC News, may have the opportunity to be more convincing with a new jury , since her lawyer announced that she intended to appeal the judgment.
The call still has to be accepted. Johnny Depp, who had lost his libel case against the Sun in the UK and in which Amber Heard had testified, had been denied his request for appeal.