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Johnny Depp appeals against Amber Heard's $2 million defamation trial win

Published Nov 05, 2022 9:39 am

Although Hollywood star Johnny Depp was awarded USD 10.35 million in damages this summer in the defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard, he's determined not to pay the USD 2 million that she was oddly awarded by a Virginia jury in a countersuit claim.

According to Fox News, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor has filed documents to appeal the ruling from the same trial that he defamed Heard through his attorney, which had led to her being awarded the countersuit claim. In documents reviewed by Fox News, Depp argued the court "should reverse the judgment on Ms. Heard's counterclaim," but he was otherwise in favor of the jury's decision.

The documents stated, "The trial court was confronted with a number of novel and complex legal and factual issues, and although the trial court decided the vast majority of those issues sensibly and correctly, a few rulings were erroneous."

The jury had agreed with the Aquaman actor's claim that Depp was "vicariously liable" for comments made by his attorney to a tabloid in 2020.

Depp's lawyers, in his appeal, have argued that since Adam Waldman was hired as an independent contractor, Depp wasn't responsible for his remarks.

Adding to that, the appeal filing from Depp stated, "No evidence of Mr. Waldman's actual malice was presented at trial, so the judgment against Mr. Depp cannot be sustained." His team also argued Waldman's words were a "non-actionable statement of opinion insufficient to support a claim of defamation," as per Fox News.

The US lawsuit took place in a courtroom in Fairfax, Virginia, during the course of April and May of 2022. It was based on the allegation that Heard had defamed Depp by referring to herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse" in a 2018 op-ed for the Washington Post.

Although the op-ed did not specifically refer to Depp, the actor claimed it harmed his reputation and wrecked his career. Heard and Depp separated a year before the op-ed was published, following two years of marriage, with Heard stating that Depp had subjected her to emotional, physical, and sexual abuse during their relationship.

Heard's lawyers had previously asked Judge Penney Azcarate to set aside the US trial's verdict for several reasons, including the allegation that one of the jurors showed up to the trial despite never receiving a summons, reported Variety. That request had been denied by the judge.

Depp later launched his own countermove, just a day after Heard gave formal notice of intent to appeal the verdict in the defamation trial against her. (ANI)