More than four months after the end of his trial against Johnny Depp, Amber Heard strikes back. This Tuesday, October 11, the American actress officially appealed her defamation conviction which required her to compensate her ex-husband up to 10.3 million dollars in damages. In all, as Vanity Fair reports, she listed sixteen grounds for appeal. With her legal team, Amber Heard notably found an absence of “clear and convincing evidence” of real malice on her part, a sine qua non for being convicted of defamation: “The trial court erred in rejecting the requests to strike out and set aside the jury’s verdict regarding Mr. Depp’s failure to prove actual malice with clear and convincing evidence.”
In the young mother’s appeal file is also “the inability of the trial court to invalidate the damages that the jury awarded”. Some of the reasons that prompted Amber Heard to appeal had already been mentioned either in court or during post-trial interviews by her former lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft. Several of the points raised also concern the evidence retained during this media confrontation. According to her, some were used when they should not have been and others were not used when they should have been, including communications with health professionals as well as with employees, friends and family members.
Amber Heard: who are her new lawyers?
The actress also accuses the trial court of “erring in allowing Mr. Depp to argue or suggest at trial that the jury might award damages based on statements or conduct that occurred before publication of the disputed editorial”, the one she had published in the Washington Post where she described Johnny Depp as “a wife beater”. According to the case filed in Virginia, the lawsuit could even be annulled. Indeed, according to Amber Heard, the verdict of the trial is not legally compatible since Johnny Depp, like her, have been convicted. These victories are “intrinsically and irreconcilably incoherent”, one can read. This new legal battle was thought out by Amber Heard’s new team of lawyers.
Since the end of her trial, the actress has separated from her former advisers and has retained the services of David L. Axelrod and Jay Ward Brown. The two lawyers work for the firm Ballard Spahr, which notably defended the New York Times against former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and won the libel suit. A few weeks ago, Johnny Depp’s legal team filed their own notice of appeal “all adverse rulings and order of final judgment” from the Fairfax County Court which oversaw the defamation case. . Their legal battle is not yet over.
Amber Heard © JLPPA