Amber Heard’s team has announced plans to appeal the verdict in the Johnny Depp’s defamation case after a jury on Wednesday found she had defamed her ex-husband.
Alafair Hall, a spokesperson for Heard, said the actor would launch an appeal, The New York Times reported. It is not clear on what grounds she will appeal on.
In order to be granted an appeal, the actor would likely need to demonstrate there were errors in the trial, which took place in Fairfax, Virginia over a two-month period, or that there were issues with the judge’s reading of the law. Or present compelling new evidence or testimony.
The jury initially granted Depp $15m in damages, made up of $10m in compensatory damages and $5m in punitive damages, but Judge Penney Azcarate later reduced the amount to $350,000 to meet Virginia’s statutory limit for punitive damage awards.
Heard made clear she was not satisfied with the result in a statement released following the verdict, describing herself as “disappointed” and arguing there was a “mountain of evidence” to back up her claims.
Amber Heard is disappointed “beyond words” regarding the verdict to Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit against her. The jury in the trial ruled that Heard defamed Depp when she wrote a 2018 Washington Post op-ed alluding to her past claims of domestic violence. Heard is now ordered to pay $15 million in damages to Depp.
This is her statement:
“The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. 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.
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
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.
I’m sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American – to speak freely and openly.”
The jury also found that Depp defamed Heard in the course of fighting back against her charges. While the jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, it also awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages for her counterclaim.
As Variety reported on the verdict: “The court clerk read aloud the jury’s verdict, finding that Heard had defamed Depp with each of three statements in the op-ed. The jury also found that Heard had acted with “actual malice,” meaning that they were convinced she had made the statements knowing they were false. The jury ruled in favor of Heard on one out of three statements that were made by Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman.”
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Johnny Depp has thanked the jury for ‘giving his life back’ after they awarded in his favour after a six week libel trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard.