Amber Heard filed documents to appeal the June 2022 verdict in her lawsuit against Johnny Depp. Amber lost the case and was ordered to pay her ex $10 million in damages for being found guilty of defaming him in an op-ed piece for The Washington Post. In court documents, obtained by Deadline, Amber is appealing the verdict for three reasons. She claims that “the court erred in not dismissing Depp’s claims prior to trial,” “the trial court erred in denying Heard’s motion to set aside the jury verdict based on Depp’s failure to provide actual malice,” and “the trial court erred in failing to grant a new trial for multiple reasons.”
In her appeal, Amber insists that Johnny’s defamation claims against her should have been dismissed before a trial even took place because “the challenge 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’s Washington Post op-ed featured her opening up about being the victim of domestic abuse. She did not mention Johnny by name in the article. However, their relationship, split and Amber’s previous claims of domestic violence against Johnny — she filed for a restraining order against him in 2016 — had been highly publicized.
Amber’s appeal also accuses Johnny of “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 also claims that the court “mad numerous evidentiary errors that severely prejudiced” her at the trial. She alleges that the court made an error by “excluding evidence of Depp’s abuse and Heard’s state of mind” during the trial.
The appeal also reiterates that Amber feels that the $10 million in damages is “excessive.” Her lawyer previously stated that Amber could not afford to pay the amount required. “The holding, if allowed to stand, undoubtedly will have a chilling effect on other women who wish to speak about abuse involving powerful men,” Amber’s appeal says.
Meanwhile, back in November, Johnny also appealed part of the verdict in the case, where he was ordered to pay Amber $2 million in damages. Amber had countersued Johnny after he sued her for defamation, claiming that he defamed her through three statements made by his lawyer to DailyMail. One of the three statements was found to be defamatory in court, which Johnny is now appealing.