Heard’s lawyer says actress unable to pay Depp more than US$10 million in damages

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Following a court ruling that, for the most part, went against her, Amber Heard’s lawyer says the Hollywood actress is unable to pay her ex-husband over US$10 million in damages. On Wednesday, the jury in a defamation trial held in the southern US state of Virginia found both Heard and Depp guilty of defaming each other, but ruled far more strongly in Depp’s favour.

Depp was awarded US$10.35 million in damages, whereas Heard was awarded US$2 million. According to an AFP report, Heard’s lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, says her client is “absolutely not” able to pay the stipulated amount to Depp and wishes to appeal the verdict. Bredehoft went on to say that Depp’s lawyers had sought to “demonise” Heard, accusing them of suppressing vital evidence related to the actor’s alleged abuse of his ex-wife.

“A number of things were allowed in this court that should not have been allowed, and it caused the jury to be confused.”

Bredehoft has described the ruling as a setback for the MeToo movement, claiming women will be discouraged from coming forward to report abuse or sexual harassment.

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“It’s a horrible message. It’s a significant setback, because that’s exactly what it means. Unless you pull out your phone and you video your spouse or your significant other beating you, effectively you won’t be believed.”

Depp had sued his ex-wife over an opinion piece she wrote for The Washington Post in December 2018, in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” While she did not name Depp in the piece, the actor sued her for defamation, accusing her of implying he was guilty of domestic abuse. In filing the lawsuit, Depp sought damages of US$50 million.

Heard responded by counter-suing for US$100 million, accusing Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, of defamation when he described Heard’s claims as a “hoax”.

While Heard has expressed her “disappointment” at Wednesday’s ruling, Depp responded by thanking the jury.

“The jury gave me my life back. The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun.”


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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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