Amber Heard appeal – latest: No settlement as actor hints at Johnny Depp ruling challenge

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Judge Penney Azcarate on Friday (24 June) filed a judgement order reflecting the verdict previously reached in the Johnny Depp v Amber Heard trial.

On 1 June, a Virginia jury ruled Ms Heard defamed former husband Mr Depp, bringing to an end a widely watched six-week trial.

It also ruled in favour of Ms Heard in some aspects of her countersuit against Mr Depp. The jury awarded Mr Depp $15m in damages after finding that he proved all three claims against Ms Heard. The amount was reduced to $10.35m because of limits set by state law.

The actors weren’t required to be present in the courtroom for the hearing, which begin at 11am ET on Friday and wrapped up in about an hour.

Key points

  • Johnny Depp and Amber Heard lawyers to meet in court in last bid to settle case

  • Depp’s lawyers said they’d drop damages against Heard if she stops appeal

  • What attorneys say about Heard’s options to appeal verdict

21:55 , Clemence Michallon

Camille Vasquez to represent Johnny Depp again

Camille Vasquez, the surprise star of the legal team that successfully argued the defamation case against Amber Heard for Johnny Depp, will once again represent the actor in court.

Alongside fellow Brown Rudnick partner Randall Smith, Ms Vasquez will defend Mr Depp in a personal injury lawsuit filed against him by Gregg “Rocky” Brooks, location manager on the movie City of Lies.

The trial is set to begin on 25 July in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, with Judge Holly Fujie presiding.

Oliver O’Connell reports:

Camille Vasquez to defend Johnny Depp over allegation he assaulted film crew member

21:10 , Clemence Michallon

Influencer claims Johnny Depp confided in her during trial

Johnny Depp reportedly confided in an influencer who was covering his trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard.

Jessica Reed Kraus, who goes by the username @houseinhabit on Instagram and has more than 900,000 followers, posted daily updates about the six-week defamation trial to her account.

On Tuesday, Kraus claimed in a post shared to Substack that she spoke with Depp on the same day that the trial began, on 11 April.

Chelsea Ritschel reports:

Instagram influencer claims Johnny Depp confided in her during Amber Heard trial

20:30 , Clemence Michallon

A possible appeal

Attorney Lisa Bloom believes we have not seen the end of the Johnny Depp v Amber Heard trial, and that the case will be decided on appeal.

Ms Bloom, whose clients have included Janice Dickinson (in her allegations against Bill Cosby), actor Mischa Barton (in a revenge porn lawsuit), and Harvey Weinstein (for whom Ms Bloom was an early advisor before resigning) spoke to BBC Newsnight following the verdict in the defamation case.

Jurors announced on Wednesday (1 June) they had reached a decision in the case opposing Mr Depp and Ms Heard in Fairfax, Virginia. They found that Ms Heard defamed Mr Depp on three statements and that Ms Heard was defamed in one of three statements at the centre of her counter-suit. Mr Depp was awarded $10.35m in damages and Ms Heard was awarded $2m.

“I want to emphasize that this is not the end, because most defamation cases are really decided on appeal,” Ms Bloom told Newsnight, adding that she sees “a lot of issues on appeal” in the Depp v Heard case.

Attorney Lisa Bloom says Amber Heard should appeal ‘inconsistent’ Johnny Depp verdict

19:45 , Clemence Michallon

A timeline of Depp and Heard’s relationship and legal battles

The trial in Depp’s defamation lawsuit against Heard drew to a close with a civil jury handing an overwhelming victory to Depp.

Depp sued Heard in March 2019, alleging a column Heard wrote in The Washington Post was defamatory and asking for $50m in damages. Heard filed a $100m countersuit.

After a six-week trial in Fairfax, Virginia, the jury returned a verdict on 1 June after deliberabating for around two-and-a-half days.

Here is a timeline of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s relationship, separation, and court battles, from when they are said to have started dating to the latest trial:

A timeline of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s relationship and court battles

18:59 , Clemence Michallon

Judgement published

Judge Azcarate’s judgement reflecting the verdict given on 1 June has been published by the Fairfax County Court.

The order is final.

It also includes the filled-in verdict sheets through which the jury made its decision known on 1 June.

You can view the document online here.

17:46 , Clemence Michallon

Amber Heard suggests she will appeal Johnny Depp ruling, no settlement in court

Heard has suggested she will appeal the ruling following Depp’s victory in the defamation trial.

Judge Penney Azcarate entered a judgement echoing the verdict that was handed down on 1 June, Law & Crime reported.

The legal teams of the actors met in court on Friday but it remains unclear if they have discussed a possible settlement. Judge Azcarate gave the two parties until Friday to reach a settlement if they wanted to do so.

Read the latest here:

Amber Heard to appeal Johnny Depp ruling, no settlement in court

16:58 , Clemence Michallon

Heard’s representative shares statement

A spokesperson for Amber Heard tells The Independent: “As stated in yesterday’s congressional hearings, you don't ask for a pardon if you are innocent. And, you don't decline to appeal if you know you are right.”

16:56 , Clemence Michallon

Judgement entered reflecting verdict

Judge Penney Azcarate has entered a judgement reflecting the verdict rendered on 1 June, Law & Crime’s Angenette Levy reports:

16:55 , Clemence Michallon

In the weeks after the trial began, Vasquez became one of the best-known figures among followers of the case. Depp’s fans turned to her the online attention usually reserved to actors and singers. There have been celebratory tweets and Instagram fan accounts. While the trial was ongoing, Depp supporters were known to wait outside the courthouse, hoping to catch a glimpse of Vasquez and possibly get their own hug. After Vasquez’s cross-examination of Heard, a meme reimagined the attorney as Thor, the god of thunder portrayed by Chris Hemsworth in Marvel movies. Vasquez’s star only rose further after a verdict was announced on 1 June largely favoring Depp.

Read our full report:

Fan pages and romance rumors: How Depp fans turned focus to lawyer Camille Vasquez

16:26 , Clemence Michallon

Heard’s options to appeal

After the Depp v Heard verdict was announced, The Independent spoke with three attorneys about Ms Heard’s possible grounds for an appeal, or even a new trial: Lisa Bloom of The Bloom Firm, whose clients have included Janice Dickinson, Mischa Barton, and several victims of Jeffrey Epstein; Jesse Weber, a host and attorney at the Law & Crime network, who covered the trial from the courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia; and Mitra Ahouraian, an entertainment attorney in Beverly Hills who represents actors, directors, producers, and musicians.

Here is what they said about Amber Heard’s options for a possible appeal:

What attorneys say about Amber Heard’s options to appeal Johnny Depp verdict

Depp and Heard lawyers about to meet in final attempt to reach settlement

15:55 , Rachel Sharp

Attorneys for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are scheduled to meet at 11am ET today for their last chance to thrash out a final settlement in the case.

On 1 June, Mr Depp won his defamation lawsuit against Ms Heard after a jury of seven determined that she had defamed him on all three counts in a 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post.

Jurors awarded Mr Depp $10m in compensatory damages and $5m in punitive damages, before Fairfax County Circuit Judge Penney Azcarate reduced the latter to the state’s legal limit of $350,000.

Ms Heard won one of her three counterclaims against her ex-husband and was awarded $2m in compensatory damages but $0 in punitive damages, leaving the Aquaman actress $8.35m out of pocket.

Judge Azcarate is yet to enter the verdict into the docket, with Friday offering the two sides a final chance to reach a settlement in the case.

If they fail to do so, the verdict will be entered into the docket and the two sides will have to pay each other the ordered damages.

However, after the verdict is entered both sides can still appeal.

The case will move to the Court of Appeals of Virginia after 21 days of the verdict being filed, giving both parties 30 days to then file a notice of appeal.

Camille Vasquez helps man who collapses on board flight

15:30 , Rachel Sharp

Johnny Depp’s attorney Camille Vasquez has been hailed a “wonder woman” after she rushed to help an elderly man who collapsed on board an American Airlines flight.

Ms Vasquez was on a flight from Los Angeles to New York earlier this week when the incident unfolded, reported TMZ.

Passengers on board the flight told the outlet that a man in his 70s suffered a medical emergency, collapsing and hitting his head close to where Ms Vasqeuz was sitting in first class with her bodyguard.

The Independent’s Rachel Sharp has the full story:

Johnny Depp’s attorney Camille Vasquez rushes to help man who collapses on flight

ICYMI: Heard grilled by Savannah Guthrie over being ‘caught in a lie’ about divorce settlement

15:00 , Rachel Sharp

Last week, in Amber Heard wfirst sitdown interview since her bombshell defamation trial with ex-husband Johnny Depp, the Aquaman actor was grilled by Savannah Guthrie about being “caught in a lie” over her pledge to donate her $7m divorce settlement to charity.

The NBC Today host put Ms Heard on the spot over the discrepancies between her pledge and the actual payments made, questioning whether this raised doubts about her “credibility” among the jury.

“Do you think to the jurors sitting there that was you getting caught in a lie?” probed Ms Guthrie, whose husband works for Mr Depp’s legal team, in a clip from the interview aired last week.

Ms Heard defended the furore over the charitable donation, saying that the trial was used to try to paint her as “a liar” and arguing that she shouldn’t have had to pledge her entire settlement in the first place for people to believe her accusations of abuse against her ex-husband.

When the couple’s $7m divorce settlement was reached back in August 2016, Ms Heard had said she would split the entire payout equally between the ACLU and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

Ms Heard came under intense scrutiny during the trial after it was revealed during the proceedings that the ACLU had so far received less than half of the $3.5m payment.

Get the full briefing from The Independent’s Rachel Sharp below.

Amber Heard grilled by Savannah Guthrie over pledge to donate $7m divorce settlement

Heard says ‘binder’ of therapist notes could have impacted jury’s verdict

14:22 , Johanna Chisholm

Amber Heard told Savannah Guthrie in her interview on NBC’s Dateline that a “binder” of notes taken by her therapist could have impacted the verdict in the defamation case with Johnny Depp.

Ms Heard said she wished the jury had been allowed to see her therapist’s notes which she said dated back to near the start of the former couple’s relationship and documented the alleged abuse she suffered.

“There’s a binder worth of years of notes dating back to 2011 from the very beginning of my relationship that were taken by my doctor, who I was reporting the abuse to,” she told Ms Guthrie.

“Her notes represented years of real-time explanations of what was going on.”

In the notes, shared with Dateline, the therapist had written things like “He hit her, threw her on floor” and “He threw her against a wall and threatened to kill her”.

Mr Depp has denied ever abusing Ms Heard.

The judge did not allow the jury to see the notes at trial, ruling them inadmissible in court.

Amber Heard claims she has ‘binder’ of notes about physical abuse from Johnny Depp

Influencer covering the defamation trial claims Depp confided in her during proceedings

13:22 , Johanna Chisholm

Johnny Depp reportedly confided in an influencer who was covering his trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard, according to Jessica Reed Kraus, who goes by the username @houseinhabit on Instagram.

The social media influencer shared daily updates throughout the six-week defamation trial to with her more than 900,000 followers. On Tuesday, Ms Kraus claimed in a post shared to Substack that she spoke with Depp on the same day that the trial began, on 11 April.

“On the other end of the line the greeting that booms through the phone is a vibration that needs no introduction,” she wrote. “Johnny Depp, voice bathed in slow southern charm, greets me with ‘hello.’”

According to Insider, Ms Kraus went on in the post to recall how the Pirates of the Caribbean star allegedly told her that he trusted her, writing: “‘I don’t know you’ he says, ‘but I know, just by the words you use and the aesthetic in your work, that I trust you.’”

Read the full scoop from The Independent’s Chelsea Ritschel below:

Instagram influencer claims Johnny Depp confided in her during Amber Heard trial

Depp’s lawyers said they’d drop damages against Heard if she stops appeal

12:02 , Johanna Chisholm

Earlier this month, while being interviewed on Good Morning America just days after Johnny Depp emerged victorious in his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard, lawyers for the Pirates of the Caribbean actor indicated their team had floated a deal to her that would spare her from paying millions she owes her ex-husband.

ABC host George Stephanopoulos asked lawyers Ben Chew and Camille Vasquez during their first of two interviews with the network if Mr Depp would forego the damages if Ms Heard dropped her appeal, to which Mr Chew said the case was “never about money” for his client.

“You have said that the goal was not to impoverish Ms Heard – is it possible that we could see a settlement where she foregoes the appeal in return for Mr Depp waving any monetary damages?” the host asked the lawyers.

Mr Chew said he couldn’t speak about his private conversations with Mr Depp but noted that the actor testified, and that the lawyers said in their closing statement.

Read the full report from The Independent’s Gustaf Kilander below:

Johnny Depp may drop $8m damages claim against Amber Heard

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard lawyers to meet in court in last bid to settle case

11:55 , Johanna Chisholm

Johnny Depp emerged victorious in his defamation case against his ex-wife and fellow actor Amber Heard following three days of deliberations by the jury, who also handed Heard a partial win in her countersuit.

In total, the jury awarded Depp $10m in compensatory damages and $5m in punitive damages, while Heard was awarded $2m in compensatory damages.

Lawyers for the actors are schedueld to meet in court on Friday for a possible settlement if the actors decide not to drag their legal battle further, though neither Depp or Heard is required to be at the Virginia court in-person for the hearing.

Judge Penney Azcarate, who was overseeing the trial, has yet to enter the verdict into the docket, and has until Friday to so unless both parties reach a settlement in the case that spurred a media frenzy in the weeks that it was televised.

The judge might accept oral arguments from each side over the jury verdict and if they don’t agree to a settlement, Judge Azcarate will enter the verdict, Insider reported.

After 21 days, the case will then move to the Court of Appeals of Virginia and both parties will have 30 days to file a notice of appeal.

Continue reading the full story from Alisha Rahaman Sarkar below:

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard lawyers to meet in court in last bid to settle case

What attorneys say about Amber Heard’s options to appeal Johnny Depp verdict

12:13 , Johanna Chisholm

After Johnny Depp prevailed in his defamation lawsuit again Amber Heard, her attorney told the press that her client “absolutely” intends to appeal.

In a sitdown interview with NBC News, Elaine Bredehoft concluded that her client has “some excellent grounds” for appealing, noting that she will “absolutely not” be able to pay the lump sum that the court has ruled her to.

Following this revelation, The Independent tapped the expertise of three attorneys about what possible grounds Ms Heard has for an appeal, or even a new trial. They included Lisa Bloom of The Bloom Firm, whose clients have included Janice Dickinson, Mischa Barton, and several victims of Jeffrey Epstein; Jesse Weber, a host and attorney at the Law & Crime network; and Mitra Ahouraian, an entertainment attorney in Beverly Hills who represents clients from the entertainment industry.

One point that the attorneys raised that Ms Heard could pursue as legal recourse was the point that jurors in the Fairfax, Virginia trial weren’t sequestered during the seven weeks the hearings dragged on for.

They were instructed not to read up on the case nor do any outside research, but the length of the proceedings, coupled with the fact that it aired on television and was overwhelmingly discussed online, has raised questions over whether jurors could feasibly have remained isolated from any content related to the trial.

“[Ms Heard’s team] could even try to show that since the jury was not sequestered that they were exposed to all the Depp fans and media scrutiny and that tainted the verdict,” Mr Weber said, adding that this seems “like it will be a major issue for [Ms Heard]’s team on appeal”.

Continue reading what other possible avenues Ms Heard’s legal team could pursue, as reported by The Independent’s Clémence Michallon.

What attorneys say about Amber Heard’s options to appeal Johnny Depp verdict

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