Amber Heard appeals ‘chilling’ verdict in Depp’s US libel lawsuit

Amber Heard has sought to appeal the verdict in her multimillion-dollar US libel lawsuit against Johnny Depp, arguing it will have a “chilling” effect on other women.

Lawyers for the Aquaman star said the case “should never have gone to trial” and criticized the decision to allow him to proceed in Fairfax, Virginia.

Ms Heard was sued by Mr Depp over a 2018 article she wrote for the Washington Post about her experiences as a survivor of domestic violence, which her lawyers say falsely accused her of being an abuser .

In June this year, a Fairfax County Court jury found in his favor and he was awarded $10.3m (£8.43m) for damage to his reputation.

In June this year, a Fairfax County Court jury returned a verdict in favor of Mr Depp, following a six-week libel trial (Yui Mok/PA)

In documents filed with the Virginia Court of Appeals and obtained by the PA news agency, Ms Heard’s lawyers said the trial court “erred” on several occasions.

“The trial court erroneously declined to dismiss this action on the basis of forum non conveniens, based on its erroneous finding that Depp’s claims arose in Virginia because the Washington Post’s servers are located here,” indicate the documents.

“The trial court also erred in overturning Heard’s objection (objection), in which she argued that the impugned statements are non-actionable expressions of opinion and are not reasonably capable of conveying the alleged defamatory implication.

“This outfit, if allowed, will no doubt have a deterrent effect on other women who wish to speak out about abuse involving powerful men.”

The documents added: ‘This case should also never have gone to trial because another court had already found that Depp repeatedly abused Heard.’

The filing, made on November 23, comes less than a month after Mr Depp filed his own appeal against the court’s decision to also award damages to Ms Heard.

Ms Heard was awarded two million dollars (£1.8m) in damages following her counterclaim, alleging she had been defamed by one of Mr Depp’s lawyers, Adam Waldman.

Lawyers on behalf of the Hollywood actor said the judgment in favor of Ms Heard was ‘fatally wrong’, but those in favor of Mr Depp should still stand.

The Johnny Depp Affair

Ms Heard was awarded two million dollars (£1.8million) in damages following her counterclaim in the US lawsuit (Yui Mok/PA)

“This Court should set aside judgment on Ms. Heard’s counterclaim relating to the April 27 Waldman statement, but should otherwise affirm judgment in favor of Mr. Depp,” the filing concluded.

Since the conclusion of the lawsuit, Mr. Depp has begun a comeback in the entertainment industry.

In August, it was announced that he would direct his first feature film in 25 years: Modi, about Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani.

He then made a series of weird and surprise appearances at the 2022 MTV VMAs as the channel’s famous mascot, the Moon Man.

In October it was also announced that he would be embarking on a UK tour with his band the Hollywood Vampires next summer.

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