Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial: What next for Hollywood's former 'it' couple as feminist group decries result for 'enforcing harmful attitudes'

It’s the toxic trial that played out in front of the world where one A-list celebrity defendant trashed the other.

And now, after seven weeks and dozens of witnesses, the jury in the Johnny Depp v Amber Heard defamation trial has ruled in favour of Depp, finding that a Washington Post editorial that Heard wrote defamed him.

Jurors awarded Depp more than NZ$15 million in damages, but also awarded Heard NZ$3 million after she won on one count of her countersuit.

Amber Heard sat quietly, barely moving, as the court upheld Johnny Depp's libel action against her, finding her claim in an article she wrote that she was "a public figure representing domestic abuse" was baseless.

"We are also most pleased that the trial has resonated for so many people in the public, who value truth and justice. Now that the jury has reached its conclusive verdict, it's time to turn the page and look to the future," said Depp's lawyer Ben Chew.

Depp wasn't in court for the verdict, instead choosing to perform with his band in the UK. But in a statement he said he was humbled by the result and grateful to the jury for giving him his life back.

Amber Heard left the court without a word, but in a statement said she was heartbroken and disappointed

She said: "I'm even more disappointed what this verdict means for other women… It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated."

The sordid seven-week trial captured the world's attention and was divided by 'he said, she said'.

Heard's recordings of their volatile arguments were shown in court. She insisted Depp was fueled by alcohol and drug abuse.

There were tears, and allegations of sexual abuse, but Depp strenuously denied any abuse and violence. He claimed he was the victim and she was the abuser.

Depp quickly won public support. Every day he was greeted by cheering fans and #JusticeForJohnny was trending, shared by more than a billion people.

Heard, however, was vilified online. The Guardian's headline on Thursday read the trial was an orgy of misogyny. Feminist groups say the public backlash has been a massive hit to the #MeToo movement.

"Many young people and children are accessing a lot of these platforms where content is being created, shared, amplified, that it's really, really enforcing harmful attitudes, gender stereotypes and myths around rape, sexual violence and all forms of violence against women and girls," said Deniz Ugur of End Violence Against Women.

With the trial finally over, the question now begs: what next for the former A-list 'it' couple?

"Can they continue to have careers? Sure. But the challenge for people like this, especially for Depp, his career has been so spectacularly successful that any suggestion or expectation that he can return to what he was at his height is really problematic," explained Eric Dezenhall, crisis management consultant.

There are already reports Amber Heard will appeal.