Sore winner Johnny Depp appeals $2 million granted to Amber Heard in defamation trial

Johnny Depp appeals Amber Heard's $2 million defamation trial win
Johnny Depp appeals Amber Heard's $2 million defamation trial win


Amber Heard; Johnny Depp

The trial that never ends continues to never end. Johnny Depp was the clear winner of his U.S. defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard, not only in a legal sense (the jury awarded him $10.4 million) but also in a cultural sense: he’s being propped up by Hollywood again and has fans everywhere villainizing Heard on social media. Not content with that resounding victory, Depp has now filed an appeal for the comparatively paltry $2 million granted to Heard in her countersuit.

“This Court should reverse the judgment on Ms. Heard’s Counterclaim as to the April 27 Waldman Statement, but should otherwise affirm the judgment in Mr. Depp’s favor,” reads the actor’s latest filing in Virginia’s Court of Appeals (per Deadline).

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The appeal filed by Depp’s lawyers Ben Chew and Camille Vasquez decries “the judgment in Ms. Heard’s favor” as “erroneous,” claiming, “Even if the Court were to conclude that Mr. Depp could be held liable for Mr. Waldman’s allegedly tortious conduct, the trial court nonetheless erred in denying Mr. Depp’s Motion for Summary Judgment and Motion to Strike because Ms. Heard failed to present evidence to establish one of the required elements of defamation. Specifically, Ms. Heard failed to present evidence that Mr. Waldman acted with actual malice when he made the April 27 Statement.”

“Ms. Heard presented no evidence at trial that Mr. Depp was personally involved in directing or making the Waldman Statements,” the filing continues. “Instead, she chose to pursue a pure vicarious liability claim against Mr. Depp, contending that he was liable for Mr. Waldman’s allegedly defamatory statements simply because Mr. Waldman was his attorney.”

Heard—who presented evidence in a similar U.K. libel case wherein a judge found the labeling of Depp as a “wife beater” to be “substantially true” based on 12 of 14 examined incidents—has also indicated plans to appeal the Virginia verdict. Depp’s latest filing seems to continue his promise of “total global humiliation” for his ex, something she spoke to following the U.S. trial. “I know he promised it. I testified to this,” she said at the time. “I’m not—a good victim. I get it. I’m not a likable victim. I’m not a perfect victim. But I—when I testified, I asked the jury to just see me as human and to hear his own words, which is a promise to do this. It feels as though he has.”

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