On Friday, May 27, the jury in Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's defamation trial began their deliberations — and they immediately had to ask Judge Penney Azcarate for clarification on one of the topics of discussion.
According to outlets like Deadline and the New York Post, the group was confused over how they should look at the title of the 2018 op-ed that the actress wrote in The Washington Post. The headline for the web article reads, "I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change."
The jurors in the Fairfax, Va., court weren't sure if they were supposed to decide whether it was the headline that could be considered defamatory or if they should be looking at "everything in the op-ed." Azcarate explained that in this instance, they were focusing on the "headline and not the entire op-ed."
They also have to dissect two statements in Heard's piece. The first is: "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." The second is, "I had the vantage point of seeing, in real time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse."
The jury has to unanimously decide whether the sentences and headline were about Depp, if they can be considered defamatory, and whether the Aquaman actress intended to damage her ex's reputation with her words.
The jurors are also deliberating on the mom-of-one's claims, as she's stated she's been defamed on three separate occasions.
Depp is suing Heard for defamation over the op-ed, asking for $50 million. The mom-of-one countersued for $100 million, insisting that he's purposely denying her abuse allegations to make her seem like a liar.