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04th Nov 2022

Johnny Depp files appeal against single count of defamation against him that Amber Heard won

Steve Hopkins

Johnny Depp is now reportedly coming for Amber Heard‘s only counterclaim win, five months after his highly-publicised defamation case in June.

The Aquaman star was awarded $2 million in her countersuit against her ex-husband.

Depp got $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, but the latter amount was was later reduced to $350,000 in keeping with Virginia law. The Pirates of the Caribbean actor sued Heard over a Washington Post op-ed she wrote in 2018 which he believed implied he was an abuser.

Heard was often routinely ridiculed in media coverage and on social media during proceedings, with hashtags like #AmberHeardIsAnAbuser and #AmberHeardIsALiar trending, and a study after the trial concluded the abuse was “one of the worst cases of cyberbullying and cyberstalking by a group of Twitter accounts” ever.

Despite reports, from the outset, that Heard could not afford to pay Depp’s damages, he now wants to reverse the single victory she had during the six-week trial in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Depp’s lawyers filed new documents to the Virginia Court of Appeals on Wednesday, arguing that the verdict was “erroneous” and should be overturned.

The documents were published online and said that despite the “emphatic favourable verdict” for Depp, “the trial court was confronted with a number of novel and complex legal and factual issues”.

Depp’s team, led by lawyer Benjamin Chew, added that “although the trial court decided the vast majority of those issues sensibly and correctly” a few of the decisions made were “erroneous”.

The documents say Depp should not have to pay up for comments made by his attorney which led to Heard’s successful counterclaim.

The statement that Heard won was made by Depp’s then-lawyer Adam Waldman to the Daily Mail, which was published in April 2020.

Waldman claimed Heard and her friends set up Depp by calling police with “hoax” abuse claims in 2016.

The June 2022 jury found that Waldman was acting as an agent for Depp when making the comment.

Despite that finding, legal filings claim that: “Ms. Heard presented no evidence at trial that Mr Depp was personally involved in directing or making any of the three Waldman Statements.”

Depp’s lawyers then called on the court to “reverse the judgment” on Heard’s counterclaim.

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