Amber Heard Appealing Johnny Depp Case Verdict

Though previously reported to be in the planning stages, actress Amber Heard and her legal team have officially filed a motion to appeal the verdict in the defamation case against her brought by former husband Johnny Depp. In addition to appealing the verdict from the initial trial, Heard and her team are also appealing the rejection by Judge Penney Azcarate to overturn the result, previously alleging misconduct by a juror and requesting a mistrial. It's unclear when a decision will come down on either of these appeals. Heard was previously ordered to pay upwards of $10 million in damages to Depp with regard to an op-ed published in The Washington Post.

"We believe the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the First Amendment," a statement from the Aquaman actress' legal team reads. "We are therefore appealing the verdict. While we realize today's filing will ignite the Twitter bonfires, there are steps we need to take to ensure both fairness and justice."

It took the jury in the case of Depp vs. Heard just two days to come to verdict, ultimately awarding Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and an additional $5 million in punitive damages, which was later reduced to $350,000 because of Virginia's statutory cap of punitive damages. The jury also partly found in Heard's favor, awarding her $2 million in compensatory damages, noting that Depp's former lawyer had also defamed Heard.

"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," Heard wrote in a statement released after the initial verdict was read. "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."

Heard and Depp, previously married from 2015 to 2017, have been locked in a legal feud for some years. In 2020 the Academy Award-nominated Pirates of the Caribbean star lost a libel suit against UK tabloid The Sun, who referred to him as "wife-beater" with regard to his past relationship with Heard. That trial resulted in an English court siding with the paper, saying those claims were "substantially true," it also resulted in Depp being replaced in the Fantastic Beasts film franchise. The current legal fight between the pair comes from Heard's op-ed in the Washington Post in which she wrote about her experience as a victim of domestic and sexual violence.

(Cover Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)