After seven weeks of testimony in the polarizing Virginia civil trial between actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, jurors on Wednesday found that Heard defamed Depp after identifying herself as a domestic abuse survivor in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed—ruling that she now must pay him over $10 million in damages.
The one snag: Heard and several witnesses implied on the stand that the Aquaman actress may not have the immediate funds to pay her ex-husband.
While the trial hinged on harrowing allegations of repeated instances of abuse, both actors took to the stand to discuss how the trial impacted their successful acting careers—and in turn their network. Heard, as she was getting grilled about her inability to pay a $7 million pledge to the ACLU after her 2017 divorce to Depp, stressed that she did not keep her word because her ex-husband decided to file a $50 million lawsuit against her.
In the lawsuit, in which the jury agreed with Depp’s allegations on all counts, Depp alleged that Heard acted with actual malice in her Washington Post op-ed—meaning the actress knew what she had written was false and that she published the piece with reckless disregard for the truth.
“I still fully intend on honoring all of my pledges,” Heard said regarding the ACLU money. “I would love him to stop suing me so I can.”
Terence Dougherty, chief operating officer and general counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), also alluded to Heard’s money problem, telling jurors that the actress last cut a check in 2018 but stopped making payments because “we learned she was having financial difficulties.” Entertainment industry expert Kathryn Arnold testified that Heard lost out on possible earnings of up to $50 million due to the negative impacts of her ongoing legal battle with Depp.