Amber Heard appeals ruling that she defamed ex-husband Johnny Depp


Amber Heard is appealing the jury verdict in the multi-million dollar defamation case she lost to her former husband, Johnny Depp. Photos: AFP

Amber Heard on Thursday (July 21) filed to appeal a Virginia jury's decision last month that she defamed ex-husband Johnny Depp when she claimed in a newspaper opinion piece that she was a survivor of sexual violence, according to court documents.

Heard's legal team submitted the appeal notice to the Virginia Court of Appeals seeking to overturn a lower court's June 1 ruling.

After a six-week televised trial, a seven-person jury concluded that Heard defamed Depp and awarded the Pirates Of The Caribbean star US$10.35mil in damages. The jury also determined that Heard was defamed, awarding her US$2mil.

Heard's team said it sought to ensure fairness and justice through the appeal.

"We believe the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the First Amendment," a spokesman said to Reuters. "We are therefore appealing the verdict."

The notice also appeals a June 24 final judgment order and a July 13 order against Heard's post-trial motions.

Lawyers for Depp did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The filing comes more than a week after a judge rejected Heard's request for a new trial. In seeking the new trial, her lawyers argued that one of the jurors had served improperly.

During the trial, Depp said he never hit or sexually abused Heard and argued that she was one who became violent during their relationship. Heard said she had slapped Depp but only in defense of herself or her sister.

After the ruling in June, Heard attorney Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, in an interview on NBC's Today, accused Depp's team of suppressing evidence that was allowed in a 2021 libel case in Britain.

Depp sued British tabloid The Sun for calling him a "wife beater", but a London High Court judge ruled against him. – Reuters

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