Amber Heard demands new trial months after losing to Johnny Depp: Actress files 68-page appeal against ‘chilling’ $10M defamation verdict claiming libel case was held in the WRONG state and excluded bombshell therapy notes
- Actress Amber Heard has appealed the $10million award she was ordered to pay ex-husband Johnny Depp following a defamation trial held earlier this year
- Heard’s attorneys argued in a 68-page filing that significant evidence was excluded and that the trial was held in the wrong state
- The trial was held in Fairfax, Virginia, because that is where The Washington Post website houses its servers
- Depp sued Heard in 2019 for $50million over a Washington Post op-ed written under Heard’s name in which he was accused of domestic abuse
- Depp’s attorneys have also filed an appeal of the $2million he was ordered to pay Heard for a single count of defamation of which he was found guilty
Amber Heard has filed an appeal to the Virginia courts asking for a reversal of the decision or an entirely new trial in the sweeping defamation case against her ex-husband Johnny Depp, which she lost earlier this year.
Heard, 36, filed her appeal last month and argued that the exclusion of some of her therapy notes, in which she reported being abused by Depp, resulted in an unfair trial. The notes were ruled out by Virginia Judge Penney Azcarate.
In June, Depp, 56, was awarded $10.35million in a verdict delivered after his legal team successfully argued that Heard’s Washington Post op-ed, in which she accused her ex-husband of domestic abuse, was defamatory.
Heard did not name Depp publicly in the piece but given their status and notoriety, it was evident who she was referencing in regard to her history of being allegedly abused.
Amber Heard, 36, was ordered to pay her ex-husband more than $10million at the end of their weeks-long defamation trial that took place earlier this year – she has now filed an appeal
Depp and Heard were married for just 15 tumultuous months before they called it quits in 2016. The internal drama of their Hollywood affair was put on full display during a weeks-long trial in June
Depp’s legal team has also filed to appeal the $2million he was ordered to pay his ex-wife for the single count of defamation of which he was found guilty
Now, in a 68-page document dated to late November, Heard’s attorneys write that the court ‘improperly prevented the jury from considering several instances in which Heard reported Depp’s abuse to a medical professional.’
‘If not reversed, the trial court’s exclusion of contemporaneous reports of domestic abuse to medical professionals will make it more difficult for other abuse victims to prove allegations of abuse, and likely deter them from coming forward,’ they continued.
‘That holding, if allowed to stand, undoubtedly will have a chilling effect on other women who wish to speak about abuse involving powerful men.’
‘This case also should never have gone to trial because another court had already concluded that Depp abused Heard on multiple occasions,’ wrote Heard’s lawyers, referring to the United Kingdom High Court of Justice’s ruling in a separate defamation suit brought by Depp that the Pirates of the Caribbean actor had abused his ex-wife.
Her legal team, which comprises a different set of lawyers than those who represented her during the trial, also argued that the trial, which took place in Fairfax, Virginia, should have taken place in California, where the once married couple lived together.
Virginia, where The Washington Post houses its servers, was an ‘entirely inconvenient forum with no connection to Depp or any meaningful connection to his claims,’ reads the filing.
Depp’s legal team has also filed an appeal to the case, claiming that the singular count of defamation against Heard of which he was convicted was ‘erroneous.’
His attorneys wrote in their filing, ‘The jury’s emphatic favorable verdict on all three defamatory statements alleged in his complaint fully vindicated Mr. Depp and restored his reputation.’
Both appeal requests will be ruled on by a group of judges. Depending on which legal team is left disappointed by that ruling, Depp or Heard can then take the matter to the state’s Supreme Court.
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Defamation Trial Timeline
In March 2019, Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife, Amber Heard, for $50million after she wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post in 2018 saying she was abused by the Pirates of the Caribbean star. However, she never explicitly named Depp in the piece but wrote that she is ‘a public figure representing domestic abuse.’
In February 2020, audio recordings obtained by DailyMail.com, reveals Heard admitting to hitting Depp. ‘I f**king was hitting you… I don’t know what the motion of my hand was, but you’re fine, I did not hurt you, I did not punch you, I was hitting you,’ Heard said.
In January 2021, Heard countersued her ex-husband for $100million
On April 11, 2022, the six-week trial kicked off in Virginia to discuss the abuse allegations made throughout the couples relationship. The pair married in 2015 but divorced in 2017.
On April 20, 2022, Heard admitted to getting violent with Depp as audio recording of the actress were played
On May 4, 2022, Heard took the stand to recall romance with Depp before he allegedly abused her. The actress said the abuse dated back to 2013 when Depp allegedly sexually assaulted her.
On May 25, 2022, Depp testified again and claimed Heard’s allegations were false. He claimed he never abused his ex-wife
On June 1, 2022, the judge ruled in Depp won the defamation case against Heard subjecting her to pay The Pirates of the Caribbean star $10.3million. The jury awarded Heard $2million after Depp’s attorney said Heard and her friends trashed her apartment before calling police.
On July 21, 2022, Heard appealed the judge’s decision in her defamation case against Depp – two months after she was subjected to pay $ 10million to her ex-husband in damages.
On July 22, 2022, Depp filed an appeal against his conviction for defaming Heard after calling the domestic abuse claims against him a ‘hoax’ – subjecting him to pay his ex-wife $2million