Amber Heard Plans To Appeal Verdict In Johnny Depp Defamation Lawsuit

Amber Heard is reportedly planning to appeal the verdict after losing the defamation lawsuit against Johnny Depp.
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As reported by the New York Times, Heard’s spokesperson, Alafair Hall, said the 36-year-old Aquaman actor was "heartbroken" at the outcome and plans to appeal the decision.

The case was brought to court by the 58-year-old Pirates of the Caribbean star after he accused Heard of defaming him in an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018 titled: "I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change."

While the actress never mentioned him in her article, on Wednesday (June 1), a Virginia jury ruled in favor of Depp in the defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife. Jurors awarded him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.

The court also found that the actor was liable for defaming Heard because of the statements made by his former lawyer Adam Waldman over her claims of abuse. The actress will receive $2 million in compensatory damages.
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In a statement posted after the verdict, which did not comment on the reported appeal, Heard expressed her disappointment. She said: "I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women."

She added: "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."

The Danish Girl actress went on to say she believes Depp's attorneys succeeded in getting the jury "to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech and ignore evidence that was so conclusive" when presented during Depp's libel lawsuit against The Sun in 2020.

The jurors’ decision comes after a six-week trial that was publicized in the media and featured dozens of witnesses on both sides weighing in on whether Depp was abusive to Heard during their marriage.

Depp released his statement on Instagram after the verdict, saying he was "truly humbled" by the result: "From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome."

To be granted an appeal, the actress would likely need to prove that there were mistakes in the trial or the presiding judge's reading of the law.

She would also need to post a bond of the full $10,350,000, plus interest charges throughout an appeal trial.

Per The Guardian, Lisa Bloom, a high-profile US lawyer who represented women whose sexual harassment claims led to the firing of the Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, made a prediction that the high-profile case would be decided on appeal.

"I want to emphasize that this is not the end because most defamation cases are really decided on appeal," she said on BBC Two’s Newsnight.

She added: "I have handled a number of defamation cases, including representing Janice Dickinson against Bill Cosby, [when] we had to argue two appeals in that case, both of which were successful.

"I think this is an inconsistent verdict. How can it be that Amber Heard was defamed when Johnny Depp’s lawyer said that her allegations were a hoax, and yet Johnny Depp was also defamed when she said she was representative of domestic violence?

"She also got hit with the defamation verdict for the headline in the article, which she did not write … I think this is going to go up on appeal. I think within a year or two, we’re going to have a more definitive answer and outcome in this case," Bloom concluded.

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