(NewsNation) — It was Johnny Depp’s day in a Fairfax, Virginia, courtroom Wednesday, but not so much for his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Depp won his $50 million libel lawsuit against Heard, with a jury awarding him $15 million in damages.
Jurors wholeheartedly accepted Depp’s claim that Heard defamed him in a newspaper column that suggested, while never stating outright, that he abused her during their marriage.
In a $100 million counterclaim, the jury subsequently ruled in favor of Heard, awarding her $2 million in damages.
Heard reacted to the verdict in a statement on Instagram, saying that she’s disappointed “beyond words,” for herself and for women who dare to speak up and speak out.”
Depp also reacted on Instagram, telling his 21.4 million followers: “From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me. I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that.”
Depp was not in the courtroom Wednesday, but instead in England, where he’s decided to tour with guitarist Jeff Beck.
Josh Schiffer, a criminal, injury and civil rights trial lawyer, weighed in on NewsNation’s “Banfield” on Wednesday, saying that lawyers are really concerned about how this will play out in public and in courts.
“We touched a cultural rail. It’s a watershed moment.”
“The entire domestic violence victim universe is kind of freaking out because we just watched a jury thoroughly reject well-documented claims of domestic violence. Claims that weren’t actually prosecuted, but they were very valid claims. And (there are) a lot of commentaries about how, if this would … have been a criminal case, it would have been a very different result.”
Schiffer says that several legal commentators believe that the jury might have gotten it wrong.
“There’s a divide on whether or not this is going to hurt him or help him,” Caitlyn Becker, the senior reporter for DailyMail.com, said on “Banfield.”
Becker says she personally believes the verdict will help Depp.
“This case and this televised trial gave Johnny Depp fans something to rally behind. It lit a fire between them, and I think his team would be foolish not to try to capitalize on this,” Becker said.
Social media reaction to the trial was swift and intense. As testimony in the case began, a separate trial unfolded online — one of opposing hashtags and TikToks reenacting emotional testimony. Regardless of the verdict, domestic violence experts worry the public’s response to the trial might dissuade victims of domestic violence from reporting their abusers.
Several celebrity’s commented on Depp’s Instagram.
Ryan Adams praised the verdict, commenting with a red heart emoji, a hands raised emoji and a fire emoji.
The musician has been accused of sexual misconduct, according to an article published in The New York Times.
Comedian Amy Schumer posted on Instagram “Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke … She will need her sisterhood. @gloriasteinem”