• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Lawyers for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are meeting in court one more time, giving them one last chance to settle their case before the verdict is final

·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
johnny depp amber heard trial jury
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in the last week of their defamation trial in Fairfax County, Virginia.Steve Helber/Pool via REUTERS; Steve Helber/Pool via REUTERS
  • Lawyers for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are facing off in court again Friday.

  • They have one last chance to reach a settlement before the judge finalizes the jury's verdict.

  • Depp's lawyer previously hinted at a settlement after Heard's lawyer said she couldn't pay $8 million.

Lawyers for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are set to square off again Friday in a court meeting that will determine whether the two actors will drag out their legal battle or settle it once and for all.

On June 1, a jury delivered a trial verdict that found they defamed each other. It skewed heavily in Depp's favor. The jury said he proved all three of his claims against Heard and deserved $15 million in damages, a figure the judge reduced to about $10 million for statutory reasons. Of Heard's three claims against Depp, jurors gave her just one win and said she should get $2 million in damages.

But Judge Penney Azcarate, the judge overseeing the trial, didn't enter the jury verdict into the docket.

Instead, she said she'd do it on Friday — unless the two parties agreed to a settlement.

Benjamin Chew, an attorney representing Depp, previously suggested a settlement may be on the table. In an interview with the "Good Morning America" host George Stephanopoulos, Chew said Depp might agree to a settlement in which he waives monetary damages in return for Heard agreeing not to appeal the case.

"We obviously can't disclose any attorney-client communications, but as Mr. Depp testified, and as we both made clear in our respective closings, this was never about money for Mr. Depp," Chew said. "This was about restoring his reputation, and he's done that."

Elaine Bredehoft, an attorney representing Heard, told NBC's "Today" that Heard couldn't afford the $8 million she owed Depp and that she planned to appeal the case. In a separate interview with "Today," Heard said she stood by her testimony in the defamation trial.

A settlement could take another form. The parties may agree to drop some of the defamation claims from the verdict, reduce or eliminate the damages owed, or streamline the payment process by having Heard pay Depp $8.35 million, rather than the $10.35 million she owes Depp, with Depp paying Heard $2 million in a separate transaction.

Representatives for both Depp and Heard declined to comment on settlement negotiations.

Depp sued Heard in March 2019, alleging she defamed him by publishing a Washington Post op-ed in which she described herself as a victim of domestic violence. Heard filed a countersuit, alleging Depp abused her before and during their marriage, which ended in 2016, and that he defamed her through statements from his lawyer calling her claims a "hoax." Both celebrities testified in their six-week trial at the Fairfax County, Virginia, courthouse.

At the 11 a.m. hearing Friday, Azcarate may also accept oral arguments from each side over the jury verdict. Depp and Heard aren't personally required to be in the courtroom during the hearing, Samy Abdallah, Azcarate's clerk, told Insider.

If the two don't agree to a settlement, and Azcarate enters the jury verdict, then the case will move to the Court of Appeals of Virginia after 21 days, Abdallah told Insider. At that point, the parties would have 30 days to file a notice of appeal.

Read the original article on Insider