Amber Heard Appeals “Chilling” Johnny Depp Defamation Verdict
Amber Heard Appeals “Chilling” Johnny Depp Trial Verdict
Six months after a jury ruled that Heard was liable of defaming her ex-husband, the actress has filed an appeal Dec. 5 against the judgment.
In documents obtained by E! News, Heard stated that the verdict will “undoubtedly will have a chilling effect on other women who wish to speak about abuse involving powerful men.”
As for the monetary damages ruled in favor of Depp, the document noted that “even if this Court were to disagree with all of the foregoing, the jury’s award to Depp of $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages (statutorily reduced to $350,000) clearly is excessive given the narrow time-frame for which Depp could recover.”
Heard’s appeal also referenced Depp’s 2020 libel case against The Sunwho he sued over an article in which he was labeled a “wife beater.” Because a High Court judge ruled against the actor, Heard says that their defamation case should’ve never made it to the courtroom.
“Another court had already concluded that Depp abused Heard on multiple occasions,” the document read. “After Depp filed this case, the United Kingdom High Court of Justice ruled in a separate defamation action brought by Depp that Heard’s abuse allegations were true.”
Depp’s $50 million defamation lawsuit brought against his ex—which ended with the verdict in June after a six-week trial—stemmed from a 2018 essay Heard wrote for the Washington Postin which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Although the article didn’t mention Depp by name, his attorneys previously said in court documents that Heard’s op-ed was all part of an “elaborate hoax” created “to advance her career.”
Moments after the verdict was reached, Heard spoke out about the decisioncalling it a “setback.”
“The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” the actress wrote in a June 1 statement shared to Instagram. “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 in what this verdict means for other women,” she continued. “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.”
E! News has reached out to Depp’s lawyers for comment.
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