Wednesday, Johnny Depp filed petitions to appeal a Virginia court’s judgment that one of Depp’s attorneys defamed his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
After a six-week trial, a jury concluded that Heard defamed Depp and awarded him $10.35 million in damages.
The jury found that Depp defamed Heard through his attorney and awarded Heard $2 million in her countersuit.
In court records acquired by Fox News Digital, Depp urged the court “should reconsider the judgment on Ms. Heard’s counterclaim,” although he supported the jury’s verdict otherwise.
According to court filings, “Mr. Depp’s reputation has been totally restored following the jury’s affirmative verdict on all three defamatory claims made in his lawsuit.”
“However, the trial court was faced with a number of innovative and complicated legal and factual challenges, and while it resolved the vast majority of these issues rationally and correctly, a couple of its findings were incorrect.”
The jury agreed with Heard’s assertion that Depp was “vicariously liable” for statements his attorney made to a tabloid in 2020 when they awarded her $2 million during the trial.
In Depp’s appeal, his attorneys contended that Adam Waldman was retained as an independent contractor and that Depp was not responsible for his claims.
Another controversial aspect was establishing that Waldman behaved with “actual malice.”
The records indicate, “No proof of Mr. Waldman’s actual malice was presented at trial, hence the verdict against Mr. Depp cannot be sustained.”
Additionally, Depp’s legal team maintained that Waldman’s statements were “non-actionable statements of opinion insufficient to support a defamation claim.”
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor initially demanded $50 million for a 2018 Washington Post opinion piece. Heard penned a piece that did not specifically name Depp but detailed her experiences with domestic abuse by a prior spouse. Heard counterclaimed $100 Million in damages.
Heard filed a notice of appeal to reverse the verdict less than one month after the ruling.
“We believe the court committed errors that precluded a fair and just verdict in accordance with the First Amendment. We thus intend to appeal the verdict “The spokeswoman for Heard stated in a statement.
A spokesman for Depp stated that Heard’s appeal is without merit.
A spokesman stated, “After hearing the voluminous evidence provided during the six-week trial, the jury reached a clear and unanimous conclusion that the defendant herself defamed Mr. Depp in several instances.” “We remain confident in our case and in the validity of this judgment.”