After weeks of devastating testimony in the Johhny Depp v Amber Heard defamation trial, the fate of the former couple now lies in the hands of an American jury and could have a “cold effect” if Depp wins his case.
The jury is made up of seven members who must determine whether Heard Depp slandered in her 2018 Washington Post op-ed, where she called herself “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”
The NY Post has reported that in addition to the libel decision, the jury must also determine whether Heard should be liable for millions of damages.
Sources close to Heard’s legal team told the publication: “The jury will determine damages for both the claim and the counterclaim.
“If the jury finds that Amber was liable to Mr. Depp, it would determine damages; if it finds that Mr. Depp was liable for Amber’s counterclaims, it makes a determination of damages.”
A spokesman for Depp’s team confirmed this by saying: “Jury will decide damages and yes, it is possible that no damages will be awarded.”
Meanwhile, there could be a “cold effect” if Depp succeeds in his case against Heard. Speaking to The New York Post, Halim Dhanidina, a former California judge and current defense attorney, said that if the actor wins the case, it would discourage other alleged victims from coming forward.
“Every time a defamation lawsuit is successful, it has a cold effect on speech,” Dhanidina said.
“There has always been a cold effect for victims to come forward and speak out against institutions or entities or people in power because they feel their world could come down on them,”
The criminal defense attorney then remarked if Depp wins and is awarded a substantial money sentence “, then I’m sure there are people who think twice about making statements when those statements can expose them to legal liability, “
And added that on the other hand, it is not the intention to “create a world where people feel they can say what they want, even when they know it’s not true”.
Amber Heard took to the stands last week to reveal her side of the story. Photo / AP
The former judge said, despite the result, it will have a cold effect “one way or another”.
Heard is currently being sued by Depp for US $ 50 million (NZ $ 78 million) for implying he abused her in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed. Although she did not name him, he claims that her accusations are false and cost him lucrative film roles.
The New York Post reported that closing arguments were set for May 27, which could lead to a jury hearing shortly thereafter.
Despite the jury’s decision, Heard will not oppose the option of jail time, as there are no criminal charges against the Aquaman actress, only civil claims.
The ‘cold effect’ as Johnny Depp wins his defamation trial
Source link The ‘cold effect’ as Johnny Depp wins his defamation trial