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After six weeks of testimony and three days of deliberation, the jury in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial has finally reached a verdict.

And the decision is likely to generate just as much online debate and controversy as the trial itself.

To the relief of his supporters and the outrage of all who believed his accuser, Depp has been awarded $15 in his suit against Heard.

The opposite outcome was predicted by countless legal experts, and the news has been greeted with widespread shock on social media.

Depp v Heard

The case was not a total loss for Heard, who was awarded $2 million of her $100 million counterclaim.

The seven-person jury delivered their verdict shortly after 1 pm EST today.

The decision was scheduled to be announced in by a courtroom official at 3 pm.

The verdict was delayed by news that the jury failed to fill out the compensatory damages portion of their paperwork, which caused them to be sent back to the deliberation room in order to complete the document.

Johnny Depp Outside the Courthouse

Heard was in the courtroom to hear the verdict, and she showed little emotion as the jury’s decision was announced.

Depp was not present, as his team had previously indicated he would not be.

"Due to previously scheduled work commitments made before the trial, Mr. Depp will not be physically present for today’s 3 PM verdict and will be watching from the United Kingdom," read a statement issued shortly before the verdict was delivered.

Depp’s absence was blasted by reps for Heard, who criticized the actor’s flippant attitude throughout the trial.

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"Your presence shows where your priorities are. Johnny Depp plays guitar in the UK while Amber Heard waits for a verdict in Virginia," reads the statement issued by Heard’s team.

"Depp is taking his snickering and lack of seriousness on tour."

The comment refers to the fact that Depp played two shows with famed guitarist Jeff Beck at London’s Royal Albert Hall over the weekend.

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It appears that those performances are the "work commitments" that Depp’s team referred to in their statement.

Depp and Heard were only married for a year before going their separate ways in 2016.

The former partners have been engaged in one nasty legal battle after another ever since.

Johnny Depp Is In Court

In February of 2019, Depp filed a $50 million lawsuit against Heard in connection with an essay she had written for the Washington Post the previous year.

In the piece, Heard referred to herself as a survivor of domestic violence.

Though she did not mention Depp by name, he alleged that the article did irreparable damage to his career.

Amber Heard In the Courtroom

Specifically, he insisted that Heard’s allegations led Disney to cancel plans for a fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise that would have paid him at least $22.5 million.

In court, lawyers for Depp noted that he has not been offered a role in a major studio production since Heard’s essay was published.

Defamation is difficult to prove under any circumstances, and it’s especially tough in a case where the plaintiff was not mentioned by name.

Depp v Heard

In order to win his case, Depp needed to prove not only that Heard lied, but also that said lies damaged his career to the tune of $50 million.

His legal team needed to clear the additional hurdle of proving that the abuse allegations found in the article were specifically targeted at Depp.

That’s no easy feat, and legal experts noted that the odds were against Depp from the start.

But not only did Depp’s team convince the jury, it appears that Depp was also victorious in the court of public opinion.

Johnny Depp Testifies

Over the course of the trial, Heard became one of the most hated women on the internet, with millions of people — many of whom were women who described themselves as feminists — hurling bitter vitriol at the actress.

During her time on the stand, Heard alleged that Depp sexually assaulted her with a glass bottle.

She recounted numerous incidents in which Depp allegedly threatened and physically assualted her during their relationship.

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Depp claimed that he was the victim, and that Heard punched him, put out cigarettes on his face, and threw various objects at him.

He alleged that during a fight in Australia, hurled a liquor bottle at him, and the object sliced off the tip of his finger when it shattered.

The jury was clearly convinced not only that Heard lied in her article, but on the stand as well.

Amber Heard In Court

Depp sued for $50 million, but he was awarded only $10 million in damages.

Heard was awarded $5 million in compensatory damages, and in additional $2 million as part of her countersuit.

In the years to come, however, this trial will likely be remembered in terms of who emerged victorious.

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Heard is expected to appeal the decision, which may lead to yet another dramatic legal battle.

Depp previously lost a lawsuit against UK tabloid The Sun, in which he alleged that journalist Dan Wootton defamed him in an article that described the actor as a wife beater.

That decision makes today’s verdict all the more shocking.

Amber Heard at Trial

It remains to be seen if Depp’s career will be in any way revived by today’s decision.

But whatever the case, Depp and his legal team will certainly be celebrating their surprise victory tonight.

We’ll have further updates on this developing story as new information becomes available.