The amazing thing about the Depp-Heard defamation suit is that “actual malice,” the standard to prove defamation for someone who’s famous, is a difficult standard to meet. That’s why defamation suits are rarely brought by famous people in the US.
But it looks like Heard found a way with the help of a ghost-written op-ed from the ACLU, a group traveling so far out of their lane as to be plowing through backyards—and in a clown car at that.
Also interesting: CNN’s initial coverage of the verdict with the headline “Jury finds both Amber Heard and Johnny Depp liable for defamation.” Like so much of the mainstream media nowadays this is technically correct, but wildly misleading when one digs into the details. Heard will end up owing Depp roughly $8.7 million (because punitive damages are capped in Virginia). Depp’s defamation charge is actually because of something his attorney said; Depp himself said nothing defamatory. There is no way in which this is a dual victory or dual defeat.
[The Washington Post headline is only slightly better than CNN’s: “Heard jury sides primarily with Depp in defamation trial.”]
One final point: I’ve not followed this trial at all. I rather despise celebrity gossip (though I’m generally interested by legal proceedings). All the above comes from a little googling today post-verdict. And the only reason I did some web searching is because I knew better than to trust mainstream media reporting. I suggest you dig deeper as well.