Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard trial: actress's new bid to fight defamation verdict

Heard has submitted a third appeal against the ruling, which ordered her to pay her ex-husband $10 million in damages

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Amber Heard is refusing to back down in her fight to overturn a US jury's ruling she defamed ex-husband Johnny Depp.

On Thursday, her legal team submitted a third notice to the Virginia Court of Appeals as they seek to throw out last month's ruling.

After a six-week televised trial, a jury concluded Heard defamed Depp and the Pirates of the Caribbean star in a op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post about being a victim of domestic abuse, though she did not name him. He was awarded $10.35 million in damages.

The jury also determined Heard was defamed by Depp's legal team after they called her claims a "hoax", awarding her $2m.

Heard's attorneys had argued she had told the truth and her comments were covered as free speech under the US Constitution's First Amendment.

Her 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 told 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.

Depp's team said it was undeterred by the appeal.

"We remain confident in our case and that this verdict will stand," a representative for Depp told Reuters.

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 one of the jurors had served improperly.

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

Depp faced a different outcome in the UK less than two years ago, when he sued The Sun tabloid for calling him a "wife beater". A London High Court judge ruled he had repeatedly assaulted Heard.

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

Updated: July 22, 2022, 8:03 AM
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