Amber Heard, 36, plans to appeal today’s ruling in her defamation case against Johnny Depp, 58, that left her owing her ex-husband a whopping $10.35million, according to her spokesperson.
After less than three days of deliberation, the jury ruled in favor of all three of Depp’s defamation claims against Heard, finding that she had falsely accused him of domestic abuse.
The actor was awarded $15million – $10million in compensation and $5million in punitive damages. The judge later capped the damages at the Virginia maximum of $350,000 leaving Depp with a total of $8.35million.
In contrast, Heard won just one of her three countersuit claims, which related to statements made by Depp’s lawyer suggesting she and friends had trashed their apartment before calling the police out. She was awarded just $2million in compensatory damages out of the $100million she was seeking, and zero dollars in punitive damages.
Heard’s spokesperson Alafair Hall told The New York Times she now plans to appeal.
It is not clear on what grounds she plans to appeal. To be granted an appeal, Heard would likely need to demonstrate that there were errors in the trial, or in the presiding judge’s reading of the law.
Heard would also need to post bond of the full $10,350,000, plus interest charges over the course of an appeal trial.
Amber Heard awaiting the verdict in her defamation trial against her ex-husband Johnny Depp on June 1. She is planning to appeal the verdict which left her owing $10.35million
Johnny Depp pumping a defiant fist toward spectators in the courtroom after closing statements in the defamation trial on May 27
In a statement after the verdict, Heard said, ‘The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband.’
‘I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. 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.’
As she left court, Heard looked downcast while climbing into a truck with blacked out windows with her sister Whitney. A member of her legal team could be seen putting her hand on her back as she got in.
Depp, on the other hand, spent the day celebrating at a pub in the UK with rock stars Jeff Beck and Sam Fender, while his legal team were all smiles and joined each other in a group hug in Virginia.
In a statement Depp said, ‘Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also, the lives of the people who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed.’
‘And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.’
The lightning-fast verdict came as the culmination of the six-week trial that was the OJ Simpson case for Generation Z: a spectacle that was chopped up and replayed on TikTok in clips that were viewed tens of millions of times.
It was the second time the former husband and wife squared off in court: Depp lost a libel case against a British newspaper at the High Court in London in 2020 where a judge ruled it was ‘substantially true’ he was a wife beater.
Johnny Depp waving from a car as he leaves after closing arguments in the trial on May 27
‘It’s a setback for women’ Amber Heard’s full statement after verdict
The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband.
I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. 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.
I believe Johnny’s attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech and ignore evidence that was so conclusive that we won in the UK.
I’m sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American – to speak freely and openly.
In the new case held in Fairfax, Virginia, Depp, 58, sued Heard for $50million claiming that she defamed him with an op-ed piece in the Washington Post in 2018 in which she claimed to be a survivor of domestic abuse.
Heard, 35, countersued for $100million claiming that Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman made defamatory statements by calling her claims a ‘hoax.’
Since the marathon trial started on April 11, Depp has called 38 witnesses while Heard’s team called 24.
Both Depp and Heard gave evidence for four days each including a forensic cross examination from the opposition lawyers – then both returned to the witness stand to testify a second time.
The jury saw dozens of texts, photos, videos, medical records and even pages from the former couple’s ‘Love Journal’ they hand wrote to each other.
The court heard clips of recordings that Depp and Heard made during their arguments, some of their most intimate moments that were played back for the world years later in the most public setting imaginable.