Amber Heard on Thursday appealed a Virginia court ruling ordering her to pay her ex-husband Johnny Depp more than $10 million during a high-profile libel trial that exposed the inner workings of their troubled marriage.
Heard’s attorneys filed documents in Fairfax County Circuit Court, where a six-week trial featured testimony from both Heard and Depp. The document notifies the Virginia Court of Appeals that Heard intends to appeal the ruling, as well as the judge’s rulings after the ruling, including rejecting Heard’s request to set aside the ruling and dismissing the lawsuit or ordering a new trial.
We believe that the Court made errors that prevented a fair and equitable judgment consistent with the First Amendment. “We are therefore appealing the ruling,” a Heard spokesperson said in a statement. “While we recognize that today’s registration will set Twitter on fire, there are steps we need to take to ensure fairness and justice.”
Depp sued Heard for defamation in a December 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post describing herself as a “public figure who represents domestic violence.”
Depp’s lawyers alleged that the article was defamed, although he never mentioned his name. Heard filed counterclaims, alleging that Depp’s former lawyer defamed her by publicly calling her abuse allegations a hoax.
The jury ordered Heard to pay $10 million in damages to Depp and $5 million in punitive damages. Punitive damages were reduced to $350,000 under the state cap. The jury awarded Heard $2 million on her counterclaim.
Much of the testimony during the six-week trial focused on Heard’s allegations that she was physically and sexually assaulted by Depp at least a dozen times. Depp insisted that he never hit Heard and that she was the aggressor.
A spokesperson for Depp said in a statement: “The jury heard the extensive evidence presented during the six-week trial and came to a clear and unanimous verdict that the defendant herself had misrepresented Mr. Depp in several cases.” “We remain confident in our case and that this ruling will continue.”