Amber Heard to Appeal Verdict in Johnny Depp Defamation Trial

Hours after a Virginian jury ruled Amber Heard defamed her ex-husband Johnny Depp in a 2018 op-ed, the actor and her legal team plan to appeal the decision. The report from Entertainment Weekly suggests the wheels are in motion for an appeal of the verdict, but no information beyond that, such as a potential timeline, was immediately available.

Wednesday, the jury awarded 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.

"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 immediately after the verdict was handed down. "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," she continued. "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."

The duo has been locked in several legal battles since their divorce in 2016. In 2020, Depp lost a libel suit against The Sun after the tabloid called him a "wife-beater." At the time, the English court sided with the paper, saying to claims were "substantially true."


The current case 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.