Shamed actress, Amber Heard has now opted to file for an appeal after losing a defamation lawsuit against her to her ex-husband, Johnny Depp.
Heard was ordered by the Virginian court to pay Depp $10 million in damages after she published an article in the Washington Post which accused him of physical and mental abuse against her – allegations which Depp vehemently denied.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star was awarded $15 million in total for damages to his reputation, which he said resulted in him losing his treasured part as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates movies.
The amount for damages was later capped at $350,000, giving Depp a total of $8.35 million. Considering Depp was earning between $40 and $60 million for each Pirates movie, the cash will probably pale into insignificance to him compared to the satisfaction of clearing his name.
After seriously embarrassing and incriminating herself throughout the lengthy 6-week trial, the Aquaman actress, 36, has now filed a notice to appeal the verdict at the Virginia Court of Appeals in Fairfax County.
BREAKING: As expected, #AmberHeard files a notice of appeal with VA Court of Appeals. #JohnnyDepp team issues a statement below. More expected from Heard camp later. Special @LawCrimeNetwork Sidebar coming later today. You won’t want to miss it 👇 pic.twitter.com/ZzM4MHGKpT
— Angenette Levy (@Angenette5) July 21, 2022
She initially had sought for a re-trial, but this was denied by the court. Judge Penny Azcarate said there was “no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing” in the court, and thus a re-trial was not necessary.
Heard’s lawyers had argued that the verdict should not stand because Depp had “proceeded solely on a defamation by implication theory, abandoning any claims that Ms. Heard’s statements were actually false.”
The embattled actress also said she was financially unable to pay the $10 million in damages.
The motion put forward by Heard’s team also pointed out that a juror known as Juror 15 appeared to have provided a false birth date of 1945 when the individual “was clearly born later than 1945. Publicly available information demonstrates that he appears to have been born in 1970.”
“This discrepancy raises the question whether Juror 15 actually received a summons for jury duty and was properly vetted by the court to serve on the jury.’
“It appears his identity could not have been verified,” reads the motion for re-trial.
“We believe the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the First Amendment,” continued the statement.
While we realize today’s filing will ignite the Twitter bonfires, there are steps we need to take to ensure both fairness and justice.”
Meanwhile, Depp’s lead attorney, Ben Chew said that the appeal was “what we expected, just longer, no more substantive”. Speaking to Good Morning America last month, he also suggested that Depp may drop the $10 million in damages if Heard discontinues the appeal.
But, perhaps rather foolishly, Heard’s legal team opted not to do any deal with Depp, leaving Heard with the choice between bankruptcy and filing for an appeal. To be able to proceed with the appeal process, the actress who said she cannot afford to pay will still have to cough up the $10 million as a cash bond plus 6 percent interest.
Team Depp released a statement to say that they are not worried by Heard’s last-ditch attempt at worming her way out of financial ruin:
“The jury listened to the extensive evidence presented during the six-week trial and came to a clear and unanimous verdict that the defendant herself defamed Mr. Depp, in multiple instances,” said the statement.
“We remain confident in our case and that this verdict will stand.”