Amber Heard & Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp has reacted to Amber Heard’s appeal in the defamation trial verdict. Image via @wionews/Instagram

Johnny Depp reacts to Amber Heard’s verdict appeal in defamation case

Heard submitted documents to the Virginia Court of Appeals, claiming ‘errors’ in the trial with Depp prevented a ‘just and fair verdict’.

Amber Heard & Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp has reacted to Amber Heard’s appeal in the defamation trial verdict. Image via @wionews/Instagram

Actor and singer Johnny Depp has responded after his ex-wife Amber Heard’s officially launched an appeal over the ruling in the defamation case he won.

On Thursday 21 July, the Aquaman actress appealed a Virginia court’s ruling ordering her to pay Depp over $10 million (R170 million) during their high-profile defamation trial that exposed abuse allegations and drug usage in their troubled marriage.

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According to The Guardian, the document filed by Heard’s legal team notifies the court that the 36-year-old intends to appeal the judgment, as well as rulings the judge made after the verdict.

This includes Judge Penney Azcarate’s recent rejection of Heard’s request to set aside the verdict and dismiss the lawsuit or have a re-trial because they believe the wrong person showed up for jury duty but served as a jury member with four other jurors during the trial against Depp.

“We believe the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the first amendment. We are therefore appealing the verdict,” a spokesperson for Heard said in a statement.

“While we realize today’s filing will ignite the Twitter bonfires, there are steps we need to take to ensure both fairness and justice,” they continued.

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In response to Heard’s appeal, the Pirates of the Caribean issued a statement saying his legal team is very confident.

“The jury listened to the extensive evidence presented during the six-week trial and came to a clear and unanimous verdict that the defendant herself defamed Mr Depp in multiple instances. We remain confident in our case and that this verdict will stand,” a spokesman for Depp said.

Depp had been suing Heard for $50 million (R851 million) for implying he abused her in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed.

Handing down the verdict on 1 June, the jury found that Heard defamed Depp on all three counts and awarded him $10m (R170 million) in compensatory damages and $5m (R85 million) in punitive damages.

Even though Depp was awarded a total of R255 million in damages, Judge Penney Azcarate lowered the verdict to a total of R176 million because punitive damages are capped at $350 000 (R6 million) in Virginia.

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