On 1 June 2022, a Fairfax, Virginia jury found for plaintiff Johnny Depp in a defamation suit brought against his former wife Amber Heard, awarding the actor $15 million in compensatory and punitive damages. Heard, who had countersued for defamation, was vindicated on one count, and received $2 million in compensation, though no punitive damages were awarded.
The cause celebre legal battle put a final period on their tumultuous ten-year relationship, which began in 2012. Their marriage in February 2015 lasted barely 15 months, with Heard filing for divorce in May 2016 and alleging both physical and verbal abuse. Depp denied the allegations, and accused Heard of angling for a greater payout from their split, by making the charges. A settlement was reached in August, by which Depp paid Heard $7 million, and both signed non-disclosure agreements. When the divorce became final in January 2017, that should have been the end of it.
But in December 2018, Heard authored a Washington Post op-ed titled: “Amber Heard: I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.” Heard described the abuse from Depp and stated that the backlash against her at the time had cost her film roles and endorsements. Depp sued her for defamation in February 2019, and Heard countersued after Depp’s lawyer characterized her allegations of abuse as a “hoax.” The trial began in April 2022, with the jury verdict being read at 3:20 PM EDT on June 1, 2022.
A quick glance at their birth charts shows what drew them together. Born 9 June 1963 at 8:44 AM CST in Owensboro, Kentucky (Rodden Rating AA), Johnny Depp’s 18 Gemini Sun conjoins his natal asteroid Heard at 11 Gemini, and is squared widely by asteroid Amber at 9 Pisces. Solar contacts, especially conjunctions, indicate someone who is influential in the biography, for good or ill.
As well, Amber and Heard form a T-Square with Depp’s Uranus/Mars conjunction at 1 and 3 Virgo, which also pulls in centaur Nessus at 2 Gemini, broadly conjoined Heard. There’s an electric (Uranus) sexual attraction (Mars) for her on his part there, but things can easily get volatile, with playtime getting rough and out of hand (also Uranus), provoking controversy (Uranus again). Nessus is a point resonating to abuse of all kinds, which I often describe as “men behaving badly”, especially in a sexual context. Amber is bracketed by asteroid Icarus at 7 Pisces and centaur Chiron at 14 Pisces; there is an inherent woundedness there, incurable and deep (Chiron), as well as a tendency to act rashly or recklessly as relates to Heard, without due regard for the consequences (Icarus).
With Venus isolated from this mix, there’s not much true affection there, but Amber is also trined to asteroid Aphrodite at 16 Cancer, with Heard in semisquare, again suggestive of romance and flirtation, a heady mix of infatuation and lust. Speaking of which, asteroid Lust at 8 Libra is trine Heard and tightly inconjunct Amber, so there was no lack of sparks, at least on Depp’s side.
But there are indicators of the marriage as well, with Heard exactly semisquare asteroid Hera, named for the Greek goddess of marriage (also at 16 Cancer with Aphrodite), and Amber opposed asteroid Juno, Hera’s Roman counterpart, at 15 Virgo, with Heard forming a T-Square.
From Amber Heard’s perspective (born 22 April 1986, no time available), there’s far less sizzle. There’s no asteroid match for Depp, but two for his first name – Johnny, and the alternate spelling Johney. Neither makes significant connections to Venus or Mars in Heard’s chart, although Johney at 25 Gemini is exactly semisextile (30 degrees, a weak aspect) Venus at 25 Taurus and inconjunct Aphrodite at 29 Scorpio.
But there is excitement, and matrimonial potential. Johney opposes Uranus at 22 Sagittarius, which Johnny at 19 Sag conjoins, so it’s a wild ride, for sure, but Johnny’s square to Jupiter at 13 Pisces suggests it was Depp’s fame and celebrity which was the key factor in her attraction for him, while Jupiter’s exact conjunction with asteroid Karma indicates a fated connection, though one with a price to pay.
Heard saw Depp as husband material, for sure, whatever the motivation, with Johnny conjoined Juno at 15 Sagittarius, and trined Hera at 22 Leo. But there’s a problem here. Hera is at station, making marriage an embedded (not to say “obsessive”) factor in Heard’s psyche, and a prime feature of her bio. But right next door is centaur Nessus at 21 Leo, also at station; having these two so powerfully joined by their stillness at Heard’s birth, naturally inclined her to expect an abusive (Nessus) partner (Hera).
But is that what she got? Because also here is asteroid Lie, exactly conjunct Hera – were her allegations about her marriage to Depp the fabrications that he claimed they were? A Neptune/Mars pairing at 5 and 11 Capricorn also opens the door to deception (Neptune) related to violence (Mars), or at any rate, difficulty seeing the situation clearly (also Neptune). Asteroid Lust here at 3 Capricorn, also at station, could indicate passion blurring the line between rough play and actual abuse, especially if, as Heard alleges, drugs and alcohol (both Neptune-ruled) were factors.
When the jury verdict was read out by Judge Penney Azcarate at 3:20 PM EDT on June 1, 2022 in Fairfax, VA, the skies told the tale. The transit Sun at 11 Gemini conjoins transit asteroid Actor at 3 Gemini, placing both litigants in the spotlight, due to their common profession. Depp was actually experiencing an “Actor Return” at the time, with the transit body exactly conjunct its natal degree. But it’s the Sun that’s so revealing – at 11 Gemini, Sol exactly conjoins Depp’s natal asteroid Heard, and Heard’s natal centaur Chiron! Talk about a focus (Sun) on her (Heard) woundedness (Chiron)!
It’s Depp who has the stage, however, with transit Johney at 17 Cancer on the 11 Cancer MC, the focus of all eyes (albeit it was only Heard who was actually present in the courtroom). As well, Johney exactly opposes transit asteroid Justitia, named for the Roman goddess of justice, at 17 Capricorn, signifying his day in court. Johney is exactly decile (36 degrees, a minor aspect) the Sun, granting further spotlighting, but Heard’s domination of the physical space by her presence is seen as transit asteroid Amber at 8 Pisces, in square to the Sun. But with her are transit Lie and Nessus, at 13 and 16 Pisces respectively. Not the sort of handmaidens one wants at a trial where trustworthiness on abuse allegations is the theme.
And that’s how the jury saw it, casting Depp as the victim. That’s made celestially crystal clear by asteroid Johnny at 24 Pisces, conjoined transit asteroid Themis, named for the Greek goddess of justice, at 22 Pisces, and Neptune, ruling victimhood, at 25 Pisces. Transit asteroid Heard at 13 Taurus conjoins transit Uranus at 16, portraying Heard’s shock and upset at her loss. Transit asteroid Victoria, named for the Roman goddess of victory, appears at 0 Gemini, conjunct Actor, semisquare Johney and more widely squared Amber, perhaps a factor in the “split decision” verdict, where both actors came away winning something (with the closer aspect to Johney signifying the greater victory).
Was she given a fair shake? Perhaps not. Jupiter and Mars conjunct at 3 and 5 Aries suggests a hostile (Mars) jury (Jupiter); their angularity on the 10 Aries Descendant makes this a timely factor in the verdict. As well, Judge Penney Azcarate might have been less than helpful, with transit asteroid Penney at 25 Scorpio exactly squared transit Saturn at 25 Aquarius, suggesting harsh, unfavorable rulings which may have proved restrictive or limiting to Heard’s case.
I don’t suppose we’ll ever get the full story, but for now the cosmic deck was stacked in Depp’s favor, and he can consider himself vindicated.