Johnny Depp has responded after Amber Heard filed a notice of appeal Thursday of the $10 million defamation verdict that a Virginia jury awarded to her ex-husband last month.
A representative for Depp said in a statement obtained by Variety that the actor’s team remains confident the verdict will be upheld.
“The jury listened to the extensive evidence presented during the six-week trial and came to a clear and unanimous verdict that the defendant herself defamed Mr. Depp, in multiple instances,” his spokesperson said in the statement. “We remain confident in our case and that this verdict will stand.”
Heard’s lawyers made it known that she intended to appeal the Virginia verdict immediately after the jury found on June 1 that she had defamed Depp by publishing an op-ed in the Washington Post about surviving domestic abuse.
The “Aquaman” star made it official Thursday morning when her lawyers filed a notice of appeal in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County.
“We believe the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the First Amendment,” Heard’s spokesperson said Thursday, according to Variety. “We are therefore appealing the verdict. While we realize today’s filing will ignite the Twitter bonfires, there are steps we need to take to ensure both fairness and justice.”
The two-paragraph notice did not detail the grounds for her appeal, the outlet noted.
After a six-week trial, the jury found that three statements in Heard’s op-ed were defamatory and made with “actual malice.” They awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, which the judge lowered to $350,000 to comply with the state’s statutory cap.
They also awarded Heard $2 million and held Depp liable for a statement made by his attorney, Adam Waldman, who called Heard’s allegations a “hoax.”
Prior to her latest filing, Heard called for a mistrial in the defamation case over an alleged juror mix-up. She claimed that the wrong person showed up to the trial and argued that she was not given the proper “due process.” She had asked the court to nullify the verdict and order a new trial.
Depp’s legal team countered and challenged her request.
On July 13, Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Penney Azcarate, who presided over the defamation trial, denied Heard’s mistrial request, finding that the actress’ team should have raised the objection sooner and that there was no evidence of fraud and no evidence that the mistake biased the trial.
“The juror was vetted, sat for the entire jury, deliberated and reached a verdict,” the judge wrote in her ruling.
The decision stated that Heard “does not allege juror 15’s inclusion on the jury prejudiced her in any way.”
“The only evidence before this court is that the juror and all jurors followed their oaths, the court’s instructions and orders,” Azcarate continued. “This court is bound by the competent decision of the jury.”