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Film

Amber Heard to appeal order to pay Johnny Depp $10m after defamation verdict

Amber Heard has submitted an appeal against the Virginia court ruling that ordered her to pay over $10million to Johnny Depp over the defamation trial between Heard and her ex-husband.

Documents have been filed by Heard’s lawyers notifying the court that Heard intends to appeal both their judgment and the rulings made after the verdict. This includes the court ruling that turned down Heard’s request to set aside the verdict and either begin a new trial or dismiss the lawsuit altogether.

A spokesperson for Heard stated, “We believe the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the first amendment. We are therefore appealing the verdict. While we realise today’s filing will ignite the Twitter bonfires, there are steps we need to take to ensure both fairness and justice.”

In December 2018, Depp first filed a lawsuit against Heard for libel over an article she wrote for The Washington Post, in which she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse”.

Lawyers representing Depp claimed that he had been defamed by the op-ed, although it does not actually mention him by name. Heard countered by stating that Depp’s lawyers, in turn, defamed her by insinuating that her allegations were a hoax.

Much of the highly publicised trial focused on Heard’s allegations that Depp had physically and sexually abused her more than a dozen times. Depp reacted by claiming that it was Heard who was, in fact, the abuser.

Heard was ordered to pay $10million to Depp in compensation, along with $5million in punitive charges, though the latter charges were reduced to $350,000 – the Virginia state cap. For her counterclaim, the jury awarded Heard $2million.

A spokesperson for Depp has said, “The jury listened to the extensive evidence presented during the six-week trial and came to a clear and unanimous verdict that the defendant herself defamed Mr Depp in multiple instances. We remain confident in our case and that this verdict will stand.”