Hollywood actor Amber Heard has appealed the USD 10 million (almost P560 million) Johnny Depp defamation verdict in the Virginia court, less than a month after the Pirates of the Caribbean actor filed his own appeal.
According to Deadline, an online entertainment news website, Amber has replaced most of her legal team and the new team is flying the flag of the First Amendment and taking trial court Judge Penney Azcarate to task six months after a jury ruled that Heard was liable of defaming her ex-husband.
In documents obtained by E! News, a USA-based entertainment news outlet, Heard stated that the verdict "undoubtedly will have a chilling effect on other women who wish to speak about abuse involving powerful men."
The document also noted that "even if this Court were to disagree with all of the foregoing, the jury's award to Depp of USD 10 million in compensatory damages and USD 5 million in punitive damages (statutorily reduced to USD 350,000) clearly is excessive given the narrow time-frame for which Depp could recover."
Depp's 2020 libel case against The Sun was also referenced in Heard's appeal. He had sued the British tabloid newspaper over an article in which he was labelled a "wife beater."
The Aquaman actor states that their defamation case should've never made it to the courtroom because a High Court judge ruled against Depp.
"Another court had already concluded that Depp abused Heard on multiple occasions... After Depp filed this case, the United Kingdom High Court of Justice ruled in a separate defamation action brought by Depp that Heard's abuse allegations were true," the document read, reported E! 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. (ANI)