Johnny Depp latest: Actor may let Amber Heard escape $8m damages if she drops appeal, lawyers suggest

Johnny Depp’s legal team deny ‘victory lap’ after defamation trial win

Johnny Depp emerged victorious in his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard following three days of deliberations by the jury, which also handed Heard a partial win in her countersuit.

Depp sued Heard for $50m for implying he abused her in a 2018Washington Post op-ed. Although she didn’t name him, he claims her allegations impacted his ability to work. She pursued a $100m counterclaim.

The jury determined Heard defamed Depp on all three counts and awarded him $10m in compensatory damages and $5m in punitive damages. Heard was awarded $2m compensatory damages.

The “humbled” actor thanked the jury for giving him his life back. He is currently playing gigs on a UK tour with Jeff Beck. His lawyers gave their first interviews on Wednesday in which when asked about the possibility of dropping damages, they said the case was never about money.

In a statement, Heard expressed “disappointment beyond words” and said she was heartbroken, claiming the verdict was a “setback” for women. She has decided to appeal the verdict and is “unable to pay” the damages. Celebrities who have spoken up in her defence have been bombarded with negative comments by Depp fans.


Johnny Depp mobbed by fans in Birmingham

Excited fans swarmed Johnny Depp’s tour bus and brought traffic to a halt after a concert, with one onlooker comparing the scenes to Beatlemania.

The actor was leaving Birmingham’s Symphony Hall on Monday after playing alongside rocker Jeff Beck when he was mobbed.

Footage shows fans packing around the blacked-out coach, with one sat on the shoulders of another and holding up a sign to the windows of the vehicle.

Oliver O’Connell9 June 2022 04:59


Unlikely cult celebrities of the Depp v Heard trial

Fans of the estranged couple exhaustively documented Depp and Heard’s every move and mannerism in court, their attorneys’ arguments, the judge’s interventions and a wealth of colourful witness testimony on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter, carving up what might have amounted to dry legal proceedings into a spectator sport.

All of which has raised disapproving eyebrows in some quarters, with concerns expressed that the real issue at the heart of the case, domestic violence, was lost in what has become a bad taste viral soap opera.

While those criticisms are more than valid, there is no question that the trial provided an extraordinary spectacle and a cast of unforgettable supporting characters who found themselves unlikely cult celebrities.

Oliver O’Connell9 June 2022 04:00


Trial wristbands on sale for $5,000 on eBay

Some spectators who attended the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in Fairfax County, Virginia are now selling their paper wristbands online.

Sheriffs at the Fairfax County courthouse distributed wristbands as a crowd control measure at the highly publicised trial, which attracted a large number of vocal Depp fans in particular.

Several people who were admitted to the courthouse are now selling those disposable, colour-coded paper wristbands – stamped with their date of entry – on auction websites like eBay for as much as $5,000 (£4,000).

Oliver O’Connell9 June 2022 03:00


Trial stenographer denies ‘partying’ with Depp

The stenographer who chronicled Depp and Heard’s defamation trial has been dragged into a social media firestorm after footage of her hugging the Pirates actor went viral.

In the video, court reporter Judy Bellinger was seen embracing Depp after both sides presented closing arguments on 27 May.

Ms Bellinger was forced to defend herself after Heard supporters claimed the footage is proof of bias.

The Independent’s Gustaf Kilander reports:

Oliver O’Connell9 June 2022 02:00


Heard lawyer says ‘enormous amount of evidence was suppressed’ in trial

A lawyer representing Amber Heard in her defamation trial against Johnny Depp has spoken out following the verdict to say that “an enormous amount of evidence was suppressed” during the weeks-long trial.

Attorney Elaine Bredehoft appeared on The Today Show on Thursday morning, hours after a jury determined Ms Heard defamed Mr Depp on all three counts in his lawsuit against her regarding a 2018 op-ed she wrote in the Washington Post about being a victim of domestic abuse.

The jury also found in favour of one of three claims in Ms Heard’s countersuit, determining that Mr Depp’s lawyer had called her abuse allegations against her ex-husband a hoax.

Oliver O’Connell9 June 2022 01:15


Heard ‘unable to pay’ the millions in damages

Amber Heard’s lawyer says that her client will be unable to pay the millions in damages she must hand over to Johnny Depp after a jury determined she defamed her ex-husband in the weeks-long trial.

Speaking one day after the verdict was delivered, attorney Elaine Bredehoft told Savannah Guthri while appearing on NBC’s The Today Show that her client is “absolutely not” able to pay the $8.35m in damages that the Pirates of the Caribbean actor won after a jury deliberated for three days following the closely followed, and widely panned, trial.

Johanna Chisholm reports:

Oliver O’Connell9 June 2022 00:30


How much do Depp and Amber Heard owe each other?

Depp prevailed in his $50m (£40m) defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard over accusations of domestic abuse last week.

A seven-person civil jury in Virginia found that Ms Heard defamed the Pirates of the Caribbean and Fantastic Beasts star when she implied he abused her in a 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post.

The jury also upheld one of Ms Heard’s three claims in a $100m countersuit against Mr Depp and his lawyer, who had called her original allegations in 2016 an “ambush” and “a hoax”.

Neither side got the full amount they wanted.

Oliver O’Connell8 June 2022 23:45


Heard’s sister breaks her silence following verdict

Heard’s sister Whitney Henriquez took to Instagram on Sunday to say she is “proud” of the Aquaman actor despite last week’s verdict.

“Yesterday, today and tomorrow I will always be proud of you for standing up for yourself, for testifying both here in Virginia and in the UK, and for being the voice of so many who can’t speak to the things that happen behind closed doors,” wrote Henriquez, who had testified during the trial.

“We knew that this was going to be an uphill battle and that the cards were stacked against us. But you stood up and spoke out regardless.”

The Independent’s Annabel Nugent reports:

Oliver O’Connell8 June 2022 23:00


Depp lawyers claim evidence submitted in US trial exceeded that of UK trial

On NBC’s Today show on Wednesday morning, Savannah Guthrie asked Johnny Depp’s trial lawyers about why the UK judgment against Mr Depp in his defamation trial against The Sun was not included in the US trial. That case found the paper’s claims about him being a “wife-beater” were substantially true.

Camille Vasquez responds: “It was a different process, and also, in this case, Mr Depp and Ms Heard were parties with different disclosure obligations.”

“The overwhelming evidence that was presented in this case in Virginia far exceeded what was presented in the UK, and we believe the jury got it right.”

Oliver O’Connell8 June 2022 22:35


Depp may drop damages claim against Heard if she stops appeal, lawyers suggest

Host George Stephanopoulos asked if Mr Depp would forego the $8.35m in damages if Ms Heard dropped her appeal. Attorney Ben Chew said the case was never about money for Mr Depp but that he couldn’t reveal much more because of attorney-client privilege.

Oliver O’Connell8 June 2022 22:15

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