WaPo Issues Editor’s Note On Amber Heard’s Op-Ed That Sparked Defamation Trial

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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The Washington Post issued an editor’s note atop Amber Heard’s 2018 op-ed Thursday following the defamation trial between her and Hollywood actor Johnny Depp.

Depp filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife alleging the 2018 Washington Post op-ed accused him of domestic abuse and ruined his career. Heard argued the op-ed was not about Depp, whom she did not explicitly name. The jury ruled in favor of Depp on Wednesday, awarding the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor $15 million — $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Heard, who countersued, was awarded $2 million.

The editor’s note detailed the jury finding Heard liable on three statements written in the op-ed in which she described her alleged experience of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

“In 2019, Johnny Depp sued Amber Heard for defamation arising out of this 2018 op-ed,” the note began. “On June 1, 2022, following a trial in Fairfax County, Va. Circuit Court, a jury found Heard liable on three counts for the following statements, which Depp claimed were false and defamatory.” (RELATED: Shocking Audio Tape Might Explain Why Johnny Depp Refuses To Look At Amber Heard In Court)

The note listed Heard’s statements which the jury deemed defamatory.

“I spoke up against sexual violence and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.” She wrote. The jury additionally found Heard liable for saying, “Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.” Lastly, she said, “I had the rare vantage point of seeing, in real time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse.”

The seven-person jury agreed the accusations made in the op-ed were malicious in nature and that Depp successfully proved that his ex-wife called him a sexual abuser. In the op-ed, Heard alleged she had to remain silent after experiencing abuse by a man, whom she compared to a powerful ship.

“Imagine a powerful man as a ship, like the Titanic,” Heard wrote. “That ship is a huge enterprise. When it strikes an iceberg, there are a lot of people on board desperate to patch up holes — not because they believe in or even care about the ship, but because their own fates depend on the enterprise.”

She then encouraged women to come forth after experiencing abuse and to continue developing institutions that protect women.