Actor Amber Heard has officially filed a notice of appeal to the $10 million verdict, which found her liable for defaming her former husband Johnny Depp.
Her legal team filed the appeal on Thursday after a Virginia court gave the verdict in favour of Mr Depp, with the jury accusing her of defaming the Pirates of the Caribbean star with a 2018 Washington Post article. Ms Heard was also awarded $2 million by the court after Mr Depp was also found to be liable for defamation.
According to Variety, Ms Heard’s lawyers had announced they would appeal immediately after the jury found on June 1 that she had defamed Mr Depp by the op-ed in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” The jury held that the statement was false and was made with “actual malice.”
“We believe the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the First Amendment,” her spokesperson said on Thursday, adding, “We are therefore appealing the verdict. While we realise 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 does not spell out the grounds for Ms Heard’s appeal. In response, Mr Depp’s representative said his team remains confident the verdict will be upheld. “We remain confident in our case and that this verdict will stand,” his spokesperson said.
Earlier this month, the Virginia court had rejected Ms Heard’s demand for a new trial in the defamation case. Her lawyers had asked Judge Penney Azcarate to set aside the verdict awarding $10 million to Mr Depp and declare a mistrial, but the judge denied the request.
Heard had asked for a new trial because one of the seven jurors was not the man summoned for jury service but his son in a case of mistaken identity.
The jury in June found Mr Depp and Ms Heard liable for defamation – but sided more strongly with the “Edward Scissorhands” star following an intense six-week trial riding on bitterly contested allegations of domestic abuse.