The jury in the high-profile defamation trial between the former Hollywood couple concluded that Amber Heard defamed her ex-husband Johnny Depp by calling herself a public figure of domestic abuse in an article.
However, Elaine Bredehoft, an attorney for the Aquaman actress, revealed that she plans to appeal the verdict following her statement expressing disappointment in the decision.
Depp was awarded $15 million, while Heard won $2 million in her countersuit after the jury decided Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman defamed the actress.
Amber Heard ‘absolutely’ wants to appeal
Amber Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, joined NBC’s Today show in an interview about the trial and the jury verdict.
She told Savannah Guthrie the 36-year-old actress “absolutely” wants to appeal the decision and added that “she has some excellent grounds for it.”
Amber Heard owes her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, just over $10 million in damages even though a jury awarded him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages when they unanimously ruled in his favor in his defamation suit against Heard.
The $5 million in punitive damages awarded to Depp was capped at $350,000 due to the limits set by the state of Virginia law.
The jury also found Depp liable for defamation against Heard due to his lawyer accusing her of orchestrating an abuse “hoax,” awarding her $2 million, which means Heard will owe Depp a net penalty of $8.35 million.
Bredehoft said that the actress cannot afford to pay the amount owed.
Heard’s attorney alleges the jury was influenced by social media
In the interview, Bredehoft blamed several factors for Heard’s loss, including claims that numerous pieces of evidence were not allowed in the trial — while other pieces were.
“She was demonized here,” Bredehoft said in regard to social media activity by observers of the trial.
“A number of things were allowed in this court that should not have been allowed, and it caused the jury to be confused.”
She cited the different outcome in the UK, where a High Court judge, sitting without a jury, rejected Depp’s claim, ruling Heard’s evidence to be “substantially true.”
However, Jenny Afia of Schilling’s law firm, who represented Depp at the UK trial, said of the UK verdict: “This decision is as perverse as it is bewildering,” according to the BBC.
“Most troubling is the judge’s reliance on the testimony of Amber Heard and corresponding disregard of the mountain of counter-evidence from police officers, medical practitioners, her own former assistant, other unchallenged witnesses, and an array of documentary evidence which completely undermined the allegations, point by point.”