Amber Heard has filed an official notice appealing against the outcome of her multi-million defamation trial against ex-husband Johnny Depp.
The Aquaman actress’ legal team submitted documents to the Virginia Court of Appeals on Thursday, July 21, claiming trial errors stopped a “just and fair verdict” from being returned.
A spokesperson for Amber Heard said;
We believe the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the First Amendment.
We are therefore appealing the verdict.
While we realise today’s filing will ignite the Twitter bonfires, there are steps we need to take to ensure both fairness and justice.
Heard was ordered to pay $10.35m (£8.43m) for damaging the Pirates of the Caribbean star’s reputation after the judge in their defamation trial filed a written order.
She announced her intention to appeal the verdict the day after it was delivered, on 1 June this year.
The actress described feeling “heartbroken” and “disappointed beyond words” after the jury sided with Depp.
She said she had been subjected to a “campaign” of abuse and daily death threats on social media which has left her “harassed, humiliated, threatened every single day”.
Improper Juror Service
Judge Penney Azcarate, who oversaw the six-week trial at Fairfax County District Court in Virginia, has already thrown out Heard’s claims of improper juror service.
Her legal team called for a retrial of the defamation case, which came under intense scrutiny, due to “newly discovered facts and information” coming to light.
One of the jurors originally summoned to serve in the trial did not appear and was replaced by someone else, lawyers said.
They also said the verdict in favour of Depp was not supported by the evidence presented during the six-week case.
But Judge Azcarate said the juror issue was irrelevant.
Amber Heard, 36, could not show how she had been prejudiced, the judge added.
Depp launched legal action against Heard over an article she wrote for The Washington Post about her experiences as a domestic abuse survivor.
She described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse” in the article, published in December 2018.
Depp’s lawyers said the piece falsely accused him of being an abuser.
However, he was ordered to pay $2m (£1.62m) to Amber Heard based on the counterclaim she was defamed by one of his legal representatives.
The actor, 59, was not present in court to hear the verdict, but afterwards said he was “truly humbled” as he revealed how the allegations had a “seismic impact” on both his life and his career.
From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome.
Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me.
I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that.
Heard claimed the trial outcome “sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated”.
I’m sad I lost this case.
But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American – to speak freely and openly.