Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard: Is there jail time for the loser?

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are engaged in a bitter and very public defamation trial that has become public fodder and the whole world and its neighbors.

Over the last few weeks, the accusations and the testimonies have been going back and forth and both parties have given vastly different accounts of what they endured during their brief but intense marriage.

For the unversed, Johnny Depp is suing Amber Heard for defamation to the tune of $50 million because of an op-ed she wrote in 2018 after her divorce. Although she didn’t name Depp in the article, it was pretty clear that the person she was referring to was Johnny Depp. She wrote in the article, “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. That has to change.”

Here she did not mention Johnny Depp, but as per the timing of the article, the two years ago that she is referring to was the period of her marriage and subsequent divorce. At the time of divorce, Amber Heard had requested the court for a restraining order against Johnny Depp.

Countering her claim of domestic abuse, Johnny Depp sued her and Heard countersued him for $100 million and that’s the battle they are fighting out now in court.

Both sides have said their pieces and all the testimonies are in. Now the jury will deliberate over the facts and findings revealed in court and they have to deliver their verdict next week.

Everyone is waiting to hear the jury verdict on the case. As per early reports and also how the testimonies have gone so far, the scale seems tilted in Depp’s favour. So now the question is, if Depp wins, is there any possibility that Amber Heard could get jail time? Or vice versa?

The good news for both the stars is that they have filed a civil suit. Since there are no criminal charges levied, whoever loses will only have to pay the money as stipulated by the jury. While Depp has filed a suit for $50 million, even if the jury rules in his favour, they can decide that Heard should pay only $25 million. Or if Heard wins, the jury could state that the damages to be paid by Depp to Heard would only be $50 million or lesser. The amount to be paid may stay the same or be lesser based on what the jury sees fit.

Either way, there is no jail time. However, both actors have paid the price of this legal tussle as they have lost out on projects and this legal trouble has cost Johnny Depp two popular movie franchises. He lost out on his role in both ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise and ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise.



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