Amber Heard Plans to Appeal Defamation Verdict, Can’t Afford to Pay Johnny Depp, Attorney Says

Heard’s lawyer says she “has some excellent grounds” to fight the Virginia jury’s decision

amber heard
Getty Images

Amber Heard will continue to fight a Virginia jury’s verdict by exploring an appeal, and is “absolutely not” able to pay the $10.4 million awarded to Johnny Depp for his defamation victory, her lawyer said Thursday on Today.

Host Savannah Guthrie asked Heard lawyer Elaine Charlson Bredehoft whether the “Aquaman” actress plans to appeal the stunning decision announced Wednesday.

“Oh, absolutely,” Bredehoft said. “And she has some excellent grounds for it.”

Bredehoft cited the U.K. version of the trial – which Depp lost – and a host of “evidentiary issues,” including items she said were “suppressed” from the U.S. trial, as reasons she believes an appeal could succeed. A court would first have to determine that Heard has a compelling reason to revisit the case before any appeal went forward.

Guthrie also asked whether Heard would be able to pay the $10.4 million in damages the jury awarded Depp after the six-week trial.

“Absolutely not,” she said. Heard testified that she’s been so far unable to afford to make good on a multimillion dollar pledge to the ACLU, a discrepancy of more than $7 million.

The jury’s verdict, which found both parties liable, was reached Wednesday in a Virginia court after the panel spent three days deliberating over more than six weeks of grueling, emotional and highly contradictory testimony in a case focused on a Washington Post op-ed written by Heard.

Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million dollars in punitive damages (although the judge in the case later capped Depp’s punitive damages at $350,000 in accordance with Virginia law), while the jury awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages and nothing in punitive damages.

Depp had sought $50 million in damages with Heard counter-suing for $100 million.