Johnny Depp’s lawyers Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez hint the actor may not pursue collecting his monetary payout from Amber Heard following the defamation trial win.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star won all three counts of defamation in the civil suit he brought against his ex-wife.
Heard, 36, owes Johnny $10.35 million in damages, a sum her lawyer says she cannot afford to pay.
Benjamin Chew says Johnny Depp’s defamation case wasn’t about money
Johnny Depp’s attorney Benjamin Chew appeared on Good Morning America alongside Camille Vasquez to discuss their client’s legal victory.
The GMA host George Stephanopoulos asked whether Heard agreeing not to appeal the case would result in “Depp waiving any monetary damages,” Chew strongly implied that it is an option.
“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.”
An Amber Heard appeal victory is unlikely, legal experts say
Jeff Lewis, a defamation and appellate lawyer, told NBC News that appeals are difficult to win and it would be a “longshot” for Heard.
Appeals are “really hard to win statistically speaking, anywhere between 70 to 90 percent of all appeals result in no change in the judgment,” Lewis said.
As previously reported on Monsters and Critics, Heard’s lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, told NBC’s Today show that the actress intends to appeal the verdict.
She argued that Heard “has some excellent grounds” for an appeal adding that “so much evidence” didn’t come into the trial — a claim which Benjamin Chew said is “absurd.”
Following the jury verdict, Judge Azcarate said she wouldn’t issue an order reflecting the jury verdict until June 24, which gives Heard and Depp’s legal team a little over two weeks to work out an agreement.
The judge will either sign a settlement agreement or hear oral arguments from each side about the verdict.
Heard will have one month to file a notice of appeal to the Virginia state appellate court after the judge signs the order.
Depp was awarded $10.35 million after the punitive damages were reduced from $5 million to $350,000 – the maximum for the state. Amber won one of the three counts of defamation and was awarded $2 million.
Therefore, Heard owes Depp about $8.35 million if the two parties do not come to an agreement or Heard files an appeal.