The judge in Johnny Depp-Amber Heard The libel trial made the jury award official Friday with a written order for Heard to pay Depp $10.35 million for damaging her reputation by describing herself as a victim of domestic abuse in an op-ed that wrote.
Judge Penney Azcarate entered a sentencing order into the court record after a brief hearing in Fairfax County Circuit Court. He also ordered Depp to pay Heard $2 million, the jury’s award for his counterclaim that Heard was defamed by one of Depp’s lawyers.
The order was a formality after the jury announced its verdict on June 1, largely siding with Depp after a sensational trial in which the couple revealed lurid details of their brief marriage during a televised trial that was followed by close on social media.
Depp sued Heard over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” The jury found in Depp’s favor on all three of her claims related to specific statements in the 2018 article.
The jury found depth should receive $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, but the judge reduced the punitive damages award to $350,000 under a state cap.
Heard has said he plans to appeal the verdict.
During Friday’s hearing, the judge said that if Heard appeals, he must post bail in the full amount of the $10.35 million award while the appeal is pending, a common practice. The judge’s order says that both awards are subject to 6% annual interest.