Amber Heard Forced To Hire New Legal Team After Lawyer Elaine Bredehoft Steps Down

Amber Heard has allegedly hired a new legal team for her upcoming court date as Elaine Bredehoft steps down, TMZ has reported

The 36-year-old actress is currently appealing to overturn the defamation lawsuit she lost against her ex-husband, Johnny Depp.
Amber Heard has hired a new legal team as she prepares to appeal to overturn the defamation lawsuit she lost against her ex-husband, Johnny Depp. Credit: REUTERS/Alamy
The Texas native, who was married to Depp from 2015 until their acrimonious divorce in 2017, was sued by her ex-husband for defamation after penning an op-ed for the Washington Post in 2018 that painted Depp as an abuser.

Titled 'I spoke up against sexual violence - and faced our culture's wrath. That has to change', the piece never mentioned Depp by name but his legal team argued that it implied he abused Heard throughout their brief marriage.

Soon after the piece was published, Depp filed a defamation lawsuit against Heard seeking $50 million in damages and, in 2021, she countersued for $100 million.

After six-weeks of tense judicial jostling - which at times became uncomfortable to watch as a result of violent recollections on both sides - Depp won the case and was awarded $10.4 million in damages, per Vox. The trial was broadcast live on Court TV which, according to Vanity Fair, doubled the network's daytime ratings.
Johnny Depp won his case against ex-wife, Amber Heard, and was awarded $10.4 million in damages. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy
Viewers soon became amateur legal experts, perplexed by the juxtaposition between Hollywood stardom and brutal violence that seemed to plague Heard and Depp's relationship.

Eventually, the trial became an unfortunate victim of memes - predominantly on Twitter and TikTok - largely in part due to the quirky witnesses and shocking subject material.

Social media accounts overwhelmingly sided with Depp, who was filmed arriving and exiting the courthouse to throngs of fans cheering his name.

Heard, on the other hand, began trending on Twitter with the hashtag #AmberTurd, after it was alleged she once defecated on Depp's bed after an explosive argument and blamed the act on their Pomeranians.

Now, Heard will appeal the verdict with a new legal team after her current attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, is set to step down, People has reported.

A recent tweet from Chanley Sha Painter, a legal correspondent for Court TV, revealed the news. Painter shared a press release on her twitter account, writing: "#AmberHeard attorney #ElaineBredehoft is stepping down from the team for Heard's appeal...#BenRottenborn will stay on along with the attorneys in this press release."

The press release announces that the appeal team will instead be led by David L. Axelrod and Jay Ward Brown from Ballard Spahr. Ben Rottenborn of Woods Rogers Vendeventer Black will remain co-counsel.

Brown and Axelrod have an impressive reputation in the industry, having headed the legal team representing the New York Times in the lawsuit Sarah Palin brought against them earlier this year.

Palin claimed the New York Times acted recklessly by publishing an editorial that linked her to a mass shooting, per the New York Times.

The Guardian reported that Brown and Axelrod had argued that the New York Times was simply exercising their First Amendment right to free speech, and they were successful in their reasoning.
Heard's new attorneys successfully represented the New York Times in the lawsuit brought against them by Sara Palin. Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy
Given their expertise in First Amendment rights, Deadline has reported that it seems likely Heard's appeal "will focus on the First Amendment aspect of her legal fracas with Depp."

In a recent statement via Deadline, Axelrod and Brown said: "We welcome the opportunity to represent Ms. Heard in this appeal as it is a case with important First Amendment implications for every American."

"We're confident the appellate court will apply the law properly without deference to popularity, reverse the judgment against Ms. Heard, and reaffirm the fundamental principles of Freedom of Speech," the attorneys concluded.

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