Amber Heard begins appeal against Johnny Depp defamation verdict over trial "errors"

Photo credit: EVELYN HOCKSTEIN - Getty Images
Photo credit: EVELYN HOCKSTEIN - Getty Images

Amber Heard is appealing the verdict of the defamation trial ex-husband Johnny Depp brought against her. Her legal team claims that trial "errors" prevented a "just and fair verdict" from being returned, resulting in her being ordered to pay Depp $10.35m (£8.43m) in damages.

To recap, earlier this year Heard and Depp were embroiled in a highly publicised trial after he sued her over a 2018 Washington Post article. He said that in the article, Heard implied he had been physically abusive during their marriage.

The case fuelled debate after debate on social media, with fans of both actors loudly vocalising their cases. At the end of the trial, the jury ruled in Depp's favour, deciding that his reputation and career had been damaged as a result of her article. In light of the verdict, Heard was ordered to pay her ex compensatory damages – although she has made it clear she does not have the funds to pay this.

Now however, her legal team has set out to appeal the verdict. "We believe the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the First Amendment," a spokesperson for Heard said.

Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images
Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images

"We are therefore appealing the verdict," the spokesperson added. "While we realise today's filing will ignite the Twitter bonfires, there are steps we need to take to ensure both fairness and justice."

Previously, Heard's legal team requested a retrial of the defamation case, claiming that "newly discovered facts and information" had come to light about the jurors. Her team alleged that jurors had not been properly vetted adding that one of the jurors had been replaced after they did not appear in court. They also claimed that the jurors' verdict in favour of Depp was not based on the evidence that had been presented during the six week trial.

Speaking of her treatment on social media during the case, Heard told NBC News: "I don’t care what one thinks about me or what judgments you want to make about what happened in the privacy of my own home, in my marriage, behind closed doors. I don’t presume the average person should know those things. And so I don’t take it personally."

She went on, "But even somebody who is sure I’m deserving of all this hate and vitriol, even if you think that I’m lying, you still couldn’t look me in the eye and tell me that you think on social media there’s been a fair representation. You cannot tell me that you think that this has been fair."

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