This verdict, which also awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages and awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages, came after the jury deliberated for roughly 12 hours.
As a result of the timing, there were plenty of seats in the gallery still available. During the trial, however, all 100 seats were given away within the first 10 minutes of court going into session at 10:00 a.m. each day. There was also an overflow where spectators could watch remotely.
Electronic devices remained banned from the courtroom, and bailiffs patrolled the room to silence those speaking in the gallery. Judge Penney Azcarate similarly asked the gallery for silence, warning she would “not tolerate any outbursts whatsoever.”
When the jury first arrived to give their verdict, Azcarate noticed they had left the damages blank in their decision. They were subsequently sent back to deliberate on damages, which took them about 15 minutes.
After the verdict was read, Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft requested to have the jury polled. Each individual juror responded verbally whether or not they agreed with the verdict. Jurors unanimously agreed with the verdict.
At this point, Depp’s lawyer Camille Vasquez turned around and mouthed the word “wow” to her colleagues.
Once Azcarate dismissed everyone, Depp’s lawyers hugged each other, but the actor himself was in the United Kingdom during the verdict’s reading.
Heard briefly hugged her lawyers Elaine Bredehoft and Benjamin Rottenborn before she rushed out of the courtroom. Her sister Whitney Heard Henriquez was in the front row of the gallery and followed after her despite not receiving a hug.
Outside the courthouse, Fairfax County sheriff’s deputies had roped off a walkway from the building’s doors. Spectators were allowed to gather along the ropes, but members of the media were directed across the street.
Deputies often had to ask the media to stop crossing the street to talk to fans waiting to hear from Depp’s lawyers Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez. The two were met with applause and cheers, with many in the crowd knowing them by name. Fans wore “mad hatter” hats and pirate costumes in support of Depp.
“We are grateful, so grateful, to the jury and their careful deliberation,” Vasquez said during the press conference that immediately followed.
“We were honored, truly honored, to assist Mr. Depp in ensuring that his case was fairly considered throughout the trial,” Chew said. “We are also most pleased that the trial has resonated for so many people in the public that value truth and justice.”
Chew and Vasquez then headed to their cars parked nearby and left with a police escort.
Heard’s lawyers did not hold a press conference following the verdict.