Amber Heard’s lawyers have signed an appeal against the verdict in the defamation case against her ex-husband Johnny Depp.
A US jury found that the “Aquaman” actress had defamed Mr. Depp in an op-ed article that described her as a victim of domestic abuse.
After reading the result, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor, who denied abusing his ex-wife, was awarded $15 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
Ms. Heard won one of three reconversions against Mr. Depp. In consequence, she was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages.
However, her legal team has now called for the jury’s verdict to be reversed or for the trial to be held again.
Ms. Heard’s lawyers have argued that the trial was conducted in the wrong state. In addition, they have criticized the judge’s decision to exclude notes from therapists that reportedly documented the allegations of abuse and other evidence.
A lengthy document retrieved by Deadline showed the lawyers’ arguments. “That holding, if allowed to stand, will undoubtedly have a chilling effect on other women who wish to speak about abuse involving powerful men,” it read.
The legal team also cited the previous libel suit Mr. Depp lost against The Sun newspaper in 2018, which called him a “wife beater” in a print article.
The lawyers said the US defamation case, held in Fairfax, Virginia, should never have gone to trial because another court had already found that Mr. Depp had “abused Heard on multiple occasions.”
“After Depp filed this case, the United Kingdom High Court of Justice [the High Court of England and Wales sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice] ruled in a separate defamation action brought by Depp that Heard’s abuse allegations were true,” they stated.
Ms. Heard’s appeal comes after Mr. Depp’s legal team made a similar move, filing a formal petition against part of the verdict.
During the six-week trial that ended in June, Mr. Depp and Ms. Heard presented different and conflicting accounts of their relationship. The couple divorced in 2017.