“He’s gotten his life back”: Johnny Depp’s attorneys Camille Vasquez, Benjamin Chew sit down with ‘GMA’

Good Morning America

Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew, Johnny Depp‘s lawyers in the high-profile defamation trial against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, said Depp was “over the moon” with the verdict.

“It was like the weight of the world had been taken off his shoulders and I feel that finally after six years he’s gotten his life back,” Chew told GMA co-anchor George Stephanopoulos about Depp.

On June 1, a jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages over Heard’s 2018 Washington Post op-ed, in which she alleged to be a victim of domestic abuse, despite her abuser not being named in the piece.

Depp will receive a total of $10.35 million due to Virginia state law capping punitive damages at $350,000.

The jury also awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages for comments made by Depp’s former attorney.

Vasquez said Depp had an opportunity “to speak the truth for the first time” at the trial.

“It was six years in the making, and I think he was able to connect with the jury and the general public and tell what really happened in this relationship,” she continued.

When asked about a previously released statement from Heard’s spokesperson that said the verdict was “setting back decades of how women can be treated in the courtroom,” Vasquez pushed back.

“We’re only speaking about what happened in this case, right? And the facts in this case were overwhelmingly positive for Johnny and the verdict speaks for itself,” she said.

Vasquez also denied that the verdict was a setback to the #MeToo movement, saying, “I think our response to that is we encourage any victim to come forward — domestic violence doesn’t have a gender.”

Vasquez said her team’s cross-examination of Heard was focused on “using her words against her,” saying it was “very important” to them that “every question that was asked was tied to something she had said previously.”

Chew said there was “a real contrast” between Heard and Depp on the stand.

“Johnny took ownership of a lot of things and it seemed at times, and perhaps it came through to the jury, that she had an answer for everything and she wasn’t taking accountability for anything, and I think that made a difference,” he said.

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Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial hears closing arguments

Closing arguments in the high-profile dual defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard began Friday.

The trial began April 11 in Fairfax, Virginia, and was presided over by Judge Penney Azcarate.

Depp, 58, sued Heard, 36, for $50 million over a 2018 op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in December 2018. In the piece, she wrote about surviving domestic abuse without identifying her alleged abuser by name. Heard filed a $100 million countersuit against Depp in response.

In their respective testimonies during the trial, both Heard and Depp claimed the other abused them. The former couple, who met while filming 2011’s The Rum Diary and were married from 2015 to 2017, denied each other’s claims of abuse.

Depp’s lawyer, Camille Vasquez, began Depp’s closing arguments. She described Heard as “violent,” “abusive” and a “deeply troubled person.”

“What is at stake in this trial is a man’s good name,” Vasquez said. “Even more than that, what is at stake in this trial is a man’s life — the life that he lost when he was accused of a heinous crime, and the life he could live when he is finally vindicated.”

Ben Chew, another member of Depp’s legal team, ended the closing arguments for Depp’s side of the case by saying this trial has never been about money or “punishing Ms. Heard” and instead is “about Mr. Depp’s reputation and freeing him from the prison in which he has lived for the past six years.”

Ben Rottenborn, one of Heard’s lawyers, began closing arguments by asking jurors to think about the “message” he said Depp and his legal team are sending to Heard and victims of domestic violence.

“If you didn’t take pictures, it didn’t happen. If you did take pictures, they’re fake. If you didn’t tell your friends, you’re lying…,” he said in part. “And if you finally decide that enough is enough — you’ve had enough of the fear, enough of the pain and you have to leave to save yourself — you’re a gold digger. That is the message that Mr. Depp is asking you to set.”

Rottenborn added that jurors should also consider the First Amendment: “It’s about freedom of speech. Stand up for it and reject Mr. Depp’s claims against Amber.”

Elaine Bredehoft, another member of Heard’s legal team, asked the jury to hold Depp “legally responsible for his actions and to fully and fairly compensate Amber for what he has done by creating this concept of a hoax for the defamation that he has committed.”

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