Amber Heard submitted paperwork to appeal the decision in her case against Johnny Depp from June 2022. Amber was found guilty of defaming her ex in an op-ed piece for The Washington Post, and as a result, she lost the lawsuit and was forced to pay her ex $10 million in damages. Amber is contesting the decision for three grounds, according to court documents acquired by Deadline. She asserts that “the trial court erred in denying Heard’s motion to set aside the jury verdict based on Depp’s failure to provide actual malice,” that “the trial court erred in failing to grant a new trial for multiple reasons,” and that “the trial court erred in failing to dismiss Depp’s claims prior to trial.”
Due to the fact that “the challenged statements [made by Amber] are non-actionable expressions of opinion” and “the challenged statements are not reasonably capable of conveying a defamatory implication as a matter of law,” Amber contends in her appeal that Johnny’s defamation claims against her should have been rejected before a trial even began. In her op-ed for the Washington Post, Amber talked openly about experiencing domestic violence. In the article, she avoided mentioning Johnny by name. However, their relationship, breakup, and Amber’s prior allegations of domestic abuse against Johnny (she sought a restraining order against him in 2016) had all received a lot of media attention.
Additionally, Johnny is charged in Amber’s appeal with “failing to prove by clear and convincing evidence that Heard was aware of and intended to communicate the alleged defamatory implications” and “failing to prove by clear and convincing evidence that Heard either knew the alleged implication that he had abused her was false or subjectively entertained serious doubts about its truth.” She further asserts that during the trial, the court “made several evidence errors that severely disadvantaged” her. She claims that the trial’s exclusion of “evidence of Depp’s abuse and Heard’s state of mind” was a mistake on the part of the court.
Amber’s belief that the $10 million in damages is “excessive” is reiterated in the appeal. Amber’s attorney previously claimed that she was unable to make the requisite payment. Amber’s appeal claims that, if the holding is upheld, it “would surely have a chilling impact on other women who desire to testify about abuse by powerful males.”
Johnny also disputed a portion of the judgement in the case, where he was mandated to compensate Amber for $2 million in damages, back in November. After Johnny sued her for defamation, Amber countersued him, alleging that he had slandered her through three remarks made to DailyMail by his attorney. Johnny is currently contesting the fact that one of the three statements was deemed to be defamatory in court.
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