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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Amber Heard will appeal a US$10 million defamation verdict against Johnny Depp

Amber Heard plans to appeal a $10 m decision in Johnny Depp's defamation case

Key Takeaways:

  • Amber Heard was sentenced to pay ex-husband Johnny Depp a judgment of US$10.35 million in a high-profile defamation trial that exposed the specifics of their turbulent marriage.
  • In a December op-ed in The Washington Post, Heard referred to herself as “a public sculpture depicting marital violence,” prompting Depp to file a libel suit against her.

In a high-profile defamation trial that revealed the details of their tumultuous marriage, Amber Heard was ordered to pay ex-husband Johnny Depp a judgment of US$10.35 million. On Thursday, Amber Heard informed a Virginia court that she would appeal the decision.

In Fairfax County Circuit Court, after a six-week trial that featured compelling testimony from both Heard and Depp, Heard’s attorneys filed a notice of appeal. In the letter, Heard informs the Virginia Court of Appeals that she plans to challenge the result as well as any decisions the judge made following the verdict, including her denial of her request to have the case dismissed, the verdict set aside, or a new trial ordered.

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“We think the court erred, preventing a just and fair decision by the First Amendment. As a result, we are demanding the decision,” a Heard representative said in a statement. While we are aware that today’s filing will set Twitter ablaze, there are steps we must follow to ensure justice and fairness.

Depp sued Heard for libel after she described herself as “a public sculpture symbolizing marital abuse” in a Dec. op-ed in The Washington Post. Although Depp was never expressly mentioned by name in the article, his attorneys argued that it was libelous. Heard filed counterclaims, claiming that Depp’s previous attorney defamed her by calling her abuse allegations fake in front of the public.

Heard was mandated by the judgment to pay Depp $5 million in punitive damages and $10 million in compensatory damages. A state cap limited the punitive damages to $350,000. Heard’s counterclaim was settled for $2 million by the jury.

Amber Heard plans to appeal a $10 m decision in Johnny Depp's defamation case
Amber Heard plans to appeal a $10 m decision in Johnny Depp’s defamation case. Image from News7h

The six-week trial’s testimony was largely centered on Heard’s allegations that Depp had mistreated her physically and/or sexually at least a dozen times. Depp argued that Heard was the abuser and that he had never struck her.

A representative for Depp stated that the jury “listened to the considerable evidence given during the six-week trial as well as came to a clear and unanimous decision that the defendant herself defamed Mr. Depp in several instances.” “We continue to believe that our case will be upheld, and this judgment.”

Source: CTV News

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