Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard - when will the verdict be announced?

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp
(Image credit: Getty/ Getty)

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's defamation trial resumes today after a 10-day break. Now many fans are asking, when will the verdict be announced?

Heard is being sued by Depp for $50m for her 2018 Washington Post op-ed, in which she called herself  “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”  Although she didn’t name him, he claims the implication impacted his ability to work. Heard has sued back, with a $100m counterclaim against Depp.

After four weeks of testimonies, the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial come to a brief standstill last week, but proceedings are expected to resume today (Monday 16th May). Heard will continue her testimony on the witness stand and those chosen to testify for her will follow. But the trial, which was initially pencilled for five weeks, is far from over yet. As we look at when the verdict can be expected to be announced...

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial - when will the verdict be announced?

The Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial is expected to end sometime after May 27th (opens in new tab) - so, the verdict will be announced after that date. However, it is not known how long it will take the jury to deliberate on Depp's claims of defamation, given the mountain of evidence that has been given so far, and will continue to be given throughout the rest of the trial.

Judge Azcarate indicated that jury deliberations will begin as soon as closing arguments are complete, and has alerted the seven jurors that closing arguments would take place on May 27th.

Before then, Heard’s team will finish presenting their defense before Depp’s team has a chance to offer a rebuttal.

Initially, it was estimated the trial would finish earlier than this - but Judge Azcarate announced at the start of proceedings on April 11th that her schedule clashed with another event, and therefore the trial would go on a one-week hiatus.

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What happens to Amber if Johnny wins?

If Johnny Depp hypothetically wins the defamation case,  Amber Heard - who filed for divorce from Depp back in 2016, would be forced to pay Johnny substantial damages (and visa-versa). Neither faces any criminal charges - as these are civil claims - so, they're not at risk of any prison time.

Sources close to Heard’s legal team told The New York Post (opens in new tab), "The jury is going to determine damages for both the claim and the counterclaim. If the jury finds Amber was liable for Mr. Depp, it would determine damages, if it found that Mr. Depp was liable for Amber’s counterclaims, it makes a determination of damages.”

But there is also a chance that the jury could be unpersuaded by either side and determine that neither Depp nor Heard should be awarded damages, the source close to Heard’s legal team told the New York Post.

A Depp spokesperson confirmed, “Jury decides damages and yes it is possible that no damages are awarded.”

Meanwhile, if the jury doesn’t find Heard guilty in Depp’s case, she would be entitled to recoup the cost of her legal fees from Depp. That amount would be determined by a judge at a later point, the sources said.

Some fear that if Depp wins it may discourage other alleged victims of domestic violence from coming forward, said Halim Dhanidina, a criminal defense attorney and former California judge.

“Any time a defamation lawsuit is successful, it has a chilling effect on speech,” Dhanidina said. “There has always been a chilling effect for victims to come forward and speak out against institutions or entities or people with power because they feel like their world could come crashing down on them,” she continued.

Is the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial on live stream?

Yes, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's trial is available to watch live as it is being broadcast on Court TV (opens in new tab) website and its YouTube channel (opens in new tab). Several outlets are broadcasting the trial daily including The Independent's YouTube channel (opens in new tab), the Law & Crime Network is broadcasting the trial on its own  YouTube channel  (opens in new tab)and on its website (opens in new tab). Alternatively Sky News is broadcasting the trial on its YouTube channel. (opens in new tab)

It was expected to involve a number of high-profile witnesses but some like Elon Musk are no longer needed to testify.

You can watch Amber Heard testify so far in the trial in the clip below...

The trial continues on Monday 16th May at 9am.....

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Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 15 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.