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Johnny Depp files appeal against Amber Heard’s counterclaim win

Johnny Depp has filed an appeal against Amber Heard’s counterclaim win.

The Pirates of the Caribbean actor’s lawyers said the judgement in favour of the actress following the infamous libel trial was “fatally flawed”, but that the judgement in favour of Johnny should remain.

Amber was awarded $2 million in damages following her counterclaim which alleged that she had been defamed by one of her ex-husband’s lawyers Adam Waldman.

Johnny Depp And Amber Heard Attend The European Premiere Of ‘The Rum Diary’ At The Odeon Kensington, London. (Photo by John Phillips/UK Press via Getty Images)

Amber’s counterclaim stated that Johnny was “vicariously liable” for the comments made by his lawyer to the Daily Mail back in 2020.

Adam had described the actress’ abuse allegations against her ex-husband as a “hoax” to the outlet.

The appeal filings stated: “Mr Depp does not appeal the verdict on his claim, nor does he appeal the verdict in his favor on two of the three Waldman Statements.”

“His appeal relates solely to the Waldman Statement on which Ms Heard prevailed, a statement in aDaily Mail article dated April 27, 2020 (‘April 27 Waldman Statement’).”


“The judgment in Ms Heard’s favor on that lone statement is erroneous,” the documents continued.

“Ms Heard’s claim was fatally flawed and the trial court should have granted Mr Depp’s motion for summary judgment and his motion to strike the evidence.”

“Even if the Court were to conclude that Mr Depp could be held liable for Mr Waldman’s allegedly tortious conduct, the trial court nonetheless erred in denying Mr Depp’s Motion for Summary Judgment and Motion to Strike because Ms Heard failed to present evidence to establish one of the required elements of defamation.”

In June, a jury of five men and two women found Amber guilty of defaming her ex-husband in an op-ed for the Washington Post, which was published in December 2018.

Johnny, 58, launched a $50 million defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife in 2019, after she wrote about being an alleged victim of domestic violence in the op-ed.

Following a six-week trial and 13 hours of deliberations, the jury sided with Depp and awarded him $10 million in compensatory damages, and a further $5 million in punitive damages.

The Rum Diary

However, Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Penney Azcarate reduced the punitive damages to $350,000, which is the State of Virginia’s legal limit, resulting in total damages of $10.4 million awarded to Johnny.

Following the verdict, Amber’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft revealed the actress is “absolutely not” able to pay that much in damages to Johnny.

She has since shared their plans to appeal the verdict, as she claimed “a number of things were allowed in this court that should not have been allowed”.

The Rum Diary

The attorney also blamed the verdict on a “number of evidentiary issues”, saying “there was so much evidence that did not come in.”

During the six-week long trial, Amber detailed multiple incidents of alleged abuse, and told the court that “violence became normal” towards the end of their relationship.

However, Johnny testified that he never hit his ex-wife, and claimed that she was the abuser in their relationship.

Credit: FayesVision/

In court, the 58-year-old said the allegations that he was a “drunken, cocaine-fueled menace who beat women” have cost him “everything”.

Johnny and Amber first met in 2009 on the set of the film The Rum Diary, and were married in February 2015.

Their divorce was finalised two years later.

Lia Toby | WENN

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