Johnny Depp Could Seize Amber Heard’s Assets If She Fails To Pay Court-Ordered Damages
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Johnny Depp could seize the assets of his ex-wife Amber Heard if she doesn't pay up the damages she owes him as ordered by the court.
After Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft revealed that the Aquaman star cannot pay Depp the court-ordered $10.4 million ($AUD 14.3 million, £8.2 million) in damages, Virginia appellate lawyer Steven Emmert said Depp can explore other options to recuperate costs.
"If she doesn’t have the money, then his avenue, while she’s pursuing an appeal, is to try to execute on property she owns," he told the New York Post.
This would mean Depp would need to serve his ex-wife with a summons to ascertain where her current assets lie.
"[This is] where you summon the debtor to come to a court and his lawyer would get to ask her questions saying 'what property do you own, what real estate do you own, what vehicles do you own, what jewellery do you own, what art collections'," Emmert told the Post.
He added: "[And] anything else that they could use to grab and sell at auction to try to pay down and pay off, ultimately, this judgment."
Heard was ordered to pay Depp $10 million ($AUD 13.7 million, £7.9 million) in compensatory damages and $5 million ($AUD 6.8 million, £3.9 million) in punitive damages in June.
However, Judge Penney Azcarate reduced punitive costs to Virginia's cap of $350,000 ($AUD 481,000, £278,000) in accordance with the state’s statutory cap.
That brings the total Heard has to pay Depp to $10.35 million ($AUD 14.2 million, £8.2 million).
Depp has also been ordered to pay Heard $2 million ($AUD 2.7 million, £1.5 million) over a counterclaim filed by Heard.
The damages come after the highly-publicised defamation court case in which a jury found that Heard did defame her husband in an op-ed for The Washington Post op-ed that was titled: "I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change."
However, the Aquaman star may be looking for other legal avenues to continue the courtroom battle.
In a 43-page filing to the Virginia court on Friday, 1 July, Heard's lawyer requested that the verdict made by jurors in the widely publicised defamation case either be overturned or dismissed, or that a new trial should go ahead.
In the new filing Bredehoft argued that the sum Heard must pay is 'excessive as a matter of law, as there is no evidence to support the verdict'.
Featured Image Credit: Newscom / Alamy Stock Photo.
Topics: Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, US News, Crime