Experts told Insider in outbound link hours after the decision was delivered on Wednesday that Amber Heard lost her defamation lawsuit with Johnny Depp because she didn’t come off as believable and lacked her ex-star husband’s power.
Depp sued Amber Heard, alleging that she destroyed his reputation by implying in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed that she was a victim of domestic abuse. Heard countersued and testified for many days, outlining several episodes throughout their relationship in which she claimed Depp physically and sexually attacked her.
The jury in the case mostly agreed with Depp on Wednesday, ruling that Heard defamed Depp in all three remarks for which she was sued and awarding Depp $15 million in damages. Depp was also found to have defamed Heard, but only on one of the three remarks she sued him, and the jury only gave Heard $2 million in damages.
Following the decision, Insider talked with two legal experts who dissected where they believe Heard’s argument went astray.
According to Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, Heard has a credibility problem.
“She lost because she lied and exaggerated in a situation where likability and believability were everything,” Rahmani added. “Depp was a far more personable and trustworthy witness. He was adored by the jury, the audience, and everyone on social media. Amber Heard is currently regarded as one of America’s most loathed women. She is the face of a false charge, rather than the face of the #MeToo movement.”
Heard appeared to lie about “things she didn’t need to lie about,” according to Rahmani, and this ultimately cost her reputation. He notably mentioned how Heard claimed she never shared a video of one of her fights with Depp to TMZ or told the press she was going to court with a damaged face to get a restraining order against Depp. It was also tricky for Rahmani to understand Heard’s version of events when it came to why she never followed through on her promise to give her divorce settlement from Depp to charity.
According to Rahmani, the photos of Heard’s bruises did not match her dramatic allegations of Depp’s claimed beatings.
“She told jurors she believed Depp was planning to murder her. Heard told the jury that Depp had kicked her so many times that she couldn’t keep track. She’s referring to a criminal assault or attempted murder, and the photos, at best, support misdemeanor battery, “According to Rahmani.
“When someone is lying and embellishing, jurors can completely disregard their testimony, which they did and punished her,” Rahmani continued.
According to David Ring, heard “lost credibility” during the trial, a partner at the Los Angeles legal firm Taylor & Ring.
“Some of the evidence just didn’t seem genuine,” he added. “It felt exaggerated and overdone.”
However, Ring also stated that the matter might have come down to who had more star power, which Depp possessed.
“I believe Johnny Depp is the bigger star, and I don’t say that lightly. I believe that celebrity power is significant in a trial, “Ring said. “I believe that stars like that win the great majority of the time, and Johnny Depp is unquestionably captivating. The jurors disregarded all of his defects, even his truly heinous acts. They ignored it and claimed she had defamed him and awarded him a large sum of money.”
Ring said, “I just don’t believe she was as nice as Johnny Depp.” “I’m also not going out on a limb to say that. The jury had to choose between the two, and they chose Johnny Depp. Johnny Depp has triumphed in the court of public opinion, the courtroom, and he will continue to win in this case.”