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Depp Vs Heard Jury Must Answer 42 Questions Before They Reach A Verdict

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Depp Vs Heard Jury Must Answer 42 Questions Before They Reach A Verdict

The seven jurors tasked with making a decision on Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's defamation case must answer 42 detailed questions before reaching a verdict.

The jury began their deliberations on the case on 27 May following weeks of testimony from witnesses including Depp, who has accused Heard of defaming him in a 2018 op-ed, and Heard, who filed a countersuit after Depp denied her allegations of abuse.

The jury may choose to rule in favour of either Depp or Heard, or of neither, but before making a final decision they must address 24 questions relating to Depp’s case against Heard, and 18 about Heard’s case against Depp.

Both Amber Heard and Johnny Depp gave testimony in the case. Credit: Alamy
Both Amber Heard and Johnny Depp gave testimony in the case. Credit: Alamy

Published last week by Fairfax County Court, the 42-question form focuses on whether Depp has proven that he was defamed by Heard's 2018 op-ed, which was published by The Washington Post, and on the amount of compensation that should be paid out should either party win their case.

Most of the questions focus on a series of statements and ask about three legal stipulations that a required to prove if defamation took place; namely if they were published, whether they referred to specific people, and whether their meanings are defamatory.

The first pages of the document relate to Depp’s accusations against Heard and the headline of Heard's op-ed, 'I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture's wrath. That has to change'.

The form asks the jurors if this headline is defamatory, and if so whether the defamation was deliberate by Heard and whether Depp has proved 'actual malice'.

Jurors must answer 42 questions before reaching a verdict. Credit: Fairfax County
Jurors must answer 42 questions before reaching a verdict. Credit: Fairfax County

Other questions relate to another line from the article, which reads: "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."

Depp’s legal team has argued that while the actor might not have been named in the article, it can be inferred that Heard was referring to him. Jurors are asked in the questions if it can be proved whether this line is defamatory and why that is the case.

Should the jurors answer 'Yes' to questions about whether Depp has been defamed through the article, he is likely to be awarded damages, of which he has requested $50 million. However, if the jury believes Heard is the one who has been defamed, Depp would lose his case.

The jury must come to a unanimous decision in order to deliver a verdict on the case.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Amber Heard, Johnny Depp, US News, Celebrity

Emily Brown
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