Amber Heard Files Official Appeal Against Johnny Depp Defamation Trial Win

New Lawyers for Actress Amber Heard have officially filed an appeal against the results of her libel case against ex-husband Johnny Depp. Heard's team is now asking for a reversal of the jury's verdict in the Summer 2022 trial between Heard and Depp, on the grounds that the trial was allegedly held in the wrong state (Virginia) and that certain pieces of evidence being withheld from the trial skewed the outcome. That evidence includes more extensive notes and records by therapists, which allegedly help corroborate claims of Depp's abuse. 

Amber Heard's legal team also put out an extensive statement about the appeal. In that statement, they also bring up the potentially damaging societal implications of 'Depp v. Heard, which, "if allowed to stand, undoubtedly will have a chilling effect on other women who wish to speak about abuse involving powerful men." 

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Additional arguments are made against the entire fact that the trial happened at all. Depp and Heard have been battling in both the legal and public opinion courts since separating and divorcing starting back in 2017. One of the biggest turns in that ongoing showdown came in 2018 when The UK's Sun newspaper published a thinly-veiled account from Heard about abuses she suffered from an "anonymous" former lover – who was obviously Depp. Depp sued for libel, citing usage of the words "wife-beater" in print, which had allegedly impacted his reputation and career. However, Depp lost that lawsuit and it was stated that Heard had suffered enough of what constituted abuse for the printed claim to stand. That ruling all but killed Depp's legal momentum and reputation, until the 2022 trial, where he won the overwhelming majority of the claims against Heard and $15 million in damages, while Heard only won one of three counter-suits against Depp, being awarded $2M. 

"After Depp filed this case, the United Kingdom High Court of Justice [the High Court of England and Wales sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice] ruled in a separate defamation action brought by Depp that Heard's abuse allegations were true," Heard's team argues.

It will be interesting to see how this appeal makes its way through the court system. If it doe indeed gain traction, it would likely be because of the arguments above – which could, admittedly, be very problematic for Depp's legal team if they get consideration. The Sun libel ruling is still the biggest crack in Johnny Depp's legal armor, and it seems like Heard's team knows it. 

For his own part, Johnny Depp has also filed an appeal against the verdicts that Heard won in the 2022 trial. So far, Deep's win has seemed to re-galvanize his stalled career in Hollywood; Heard has claimed that she is having a much harder time of it since the trial. 

 "We welcome the opportunity to represent Ms. Heard in this appeal as it is a case with important First Amendment implications for every American," said Heard's new legal team in a previous statement. "We're confident the appellate court will apply the law properly without deference to popularity, reverse the judgment against Ms. Heard, and reaffirm the fundamental principles of Freedom of Speech.".

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Source: BBC