Image source: Getty/Matt Roberts
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s libel trial reached a verdict on June 1, in which a seven-person jury in Virginia’s Fairfax County Circuit Court found the latter liable on three counts of defamation of Depp and Depp liable for one count of defamation of Heard, Time confirmed. The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, and $2 million in compensatory damages to Heard.
Now, about six months later, the Los Angeles Times reports that Heard is appealing the court’s decision. According to the outlet, Heard’s attorneys say there were “numerous errors made during the trial,” including “allowing the case to be heard in Virginia and denying communications between Heard and certain physicians to be admitted as evidence”.
Heard filed his appeal with the Virginia Court of Appeals on November 23, and in it, his legal team alleges that California was the only proper place for the defamation lawsuit to take place. The appeal states that Virginia was a “completely inconvenient forum” with “both parties and most of the fact witnesses … located in California, none of them located in Virginia,” according to the LA Times. Other claims in the appeal include that Depp’s team failed to prove “actual malice” in the case.
Depp and Heard both filed initial appeal documents a month after their trial ended. Depp has appealed the $2 million award awarded to Heard, Entertainment Weekly reported on Nov. 3, with his lawyers calling the decision “wrong” and pushing for it to be overturned. According to the LA Times, the next course of action is for Depp and Heard’s case to go to a three-judge appeals court panel for further decision.
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp released statements following their defamation lawsuit
Minutes after the jury announced their verdict at Depp and Heard’s trial in June, the latter posted a statement on Instagram. “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” Heard wrote in her Notes app. “I am heartbroken that the mountain of evidence was still not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence and sway of my ex-husband…I am sad to have lost this case . But I’m even sadder that I feel like I’ve lost a right I thought I had as an American – to speak freely and openly.”
Depp also shared a statement via Instagram following the verdict. “Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the life of my loved ones and also the life of the people who, for many, many years, supported me and believed in me, changed forever”, he wrote. in a post. “…False, very serious and criminal allegations were made to me via the media, which sparked an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were brought against me…six years later the jury gave me my life back. I’m really humbled.”
Amber Heard gave her first interview about the libel trial days after the verdict
On June 13, Heard gave her first interview since the verdict, speaking to NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie. “I don’t care what anyone thinks of me or what judgments you want to make about what happened in the privacy of my own home, in my marriage, behind closed doors. I don’t assume that the average person should know these things,” she said in an excerpt from the interview that aired June 14 and 15. “But even someone who is sure that I deserve all this hate and vitriol, even though you think i’m lying you still can’t look me in the eye and tell me you think on social media there has been fair representation you can’t tell me you think this has been fair.
Of the jury’s verdict, Heard said, “I don’t blame them. In fact, I get it. He’s a beloved character and people feel like they know him. He’s a fantastic actor. “
What Happened During Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s Libel Trial?
Depp and Heard’s high-profile lawsuit began on April 12 after the former sued his ex-wife for $50 million for defaming him in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed she wrote, in which she called himself a “public figure representing domestic violence”. Heard later countersued with a $100 million claim against the Pirates of the Caribbean star for allegedly damaging her career. The counterclaim came after she alleged Depp’s attorney had called his allegations against the actor a hoax.
During the civil trial, testimony from Depp and Heard revealed details of the ex-couple’s short-lived marriage, which lasted less than two years – including graphic allegations of physical and sexual abuse as well as assault assumed by both parties. Part of determining who was responsible to the other was determining which words were true and therefore not defamatory.
If you are a victim of domestic violence in the United States and need help, you can go to TheHotline.org to chat with someone or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).