Amber Heard Plans To Appeal Verdict In Johnny Depp Defamation Case
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Amber Heard has announced plans to appeal the verdict in the defamation case between herself and Johnny Depp.
The jury awarded Depp millions of dollars in damages after he accused Heard of defaming him in a 2018 op-ed in which she described herself as a victim of abuse.
Heard was also awarded $2 million in damages as the jury agreed she had been defamed in one instance by a lawyer for Depp, but after the jury returned their verdict yesterday (1 June), the Aquaman actor has said she will appeal the decision.
Heard's spokesperson Alafair Hall announced the plans to appeal in a statement to The New York Times, though it is not yet clear what grounds Heard will base her appeal on.
In order to be granted a second look at the case, the actor would likely need to demonstrate there were errors in the trial, which took place in Fairfax, Virginia, or that there were issues with the presiding judge's reading of the law. An appeal may also be based on new evidence or testimony which emerges following the conclusion of the initial trial.
The jury initially granted Depp $15m in damages, made up of $10m in compensatory damages and $5m in punitive damages, though Judge Penney Azcarate later reduced the latter amount to $350,000 to meet Virginia's statutory limit for punitive damage awards.
Heard made clear she was not satisfied with the result of the trial in a statement released following the verdict, describing herself as 'disappointed' and arguing there was a 'mountain of evidence' to back up her claims.
"I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband," Heard wrote.
She continued: "I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously."
Heard also made reference to the 2020 libel case which saw Depp lose against The Sun newspaper when a judge ruled it was 'substantially true' that he could be described as a 'wife beater'.
"I believe Johnny’s attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech and ignore evidence that was so conclusive that we won in the UK," the actor said.
Depp, meanwhile, said 'a new chapter has finally begun' after the verdict was announced.