Amber Heard to appeal against libel verdict as Johnny Depp celebrates $15m win in Newcastle

US News

Amber Heard has said she will appeal against the verdict in the multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuit brought in the US by her ex-husband Johnny Depp.

Heard, 36, said she was “heartbroken” and felt “disappointment beyond words” after Depp was awarded $15m (£11.9m) by a court in Virginia on Wednesday.

Sources close to the actress, who won $2m (£1.6m) in her countersuit against Depp, 58, have told NBC News that she will appeal against the verdict. No additional details were provided.

Depp was awarded $10m in compensatory damages and $5m in punitive damages over a first-person article by Heard in The Washington Post in 2018 in which she claimed she was a survivor of domestic abuse.

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Depp will only get $10.35m, after the judge capped punitive damages in accordance with legal limits.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star had sued his ex-wife for $50m.

She filed a $100m counterclaim over statements Depp’s lawyer made in a MailOnline story about her allegations being an “abuse hoax”.

Amber Heard leaves court after the verdict
Image:
Amber Heard leaves court after the verdict

Depp left with $8.35m

He will only be left with $8.35m after paying $2m to Heard for her counter suit.

Depp was not in court to hear the verdict, which came after three days of deliberations, as he is in the UK.

He was seen celebrating the verdict at the Bridge Tavern pub in Newcastle.

The actor, 58, has made several surprise appearances around the UK while he supports musician Jeff Beck on tour.

A financial expert told the US trial Depp has lost around $40m (£31.91) as a result of Heard’s allegations.

He previously paid her $7m in their divorce settlement, which was finalised in 2017.

Image:
Heard looks tearful inside the Virginia courtroom

Heard had said she wanted to donate the money to charity, but that only a small amount was left over after the court case cost her “over $6m”.

Depp lost his UK libel case against the owners of The Sun, News Group Newspapers, after a judge found that claims he was a “wife beater” were “substantially true”.

In a statement on Twitter after the verdict on Wednesday he said the jury has “given him his life back”.

He said he had suffered an “endless barrage of hateful content” after Heard’s op-ed.

“It had already travelled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career,” he wrote.

But he said he was “at peace” knowing he had “revealing the truth” through the trial.

Depp’s film roles have dried up

Since the judgment in the UK case, Depp has appeared at a few industry events and picked up a lifetime achievement award from a major film festival in Spain – and a medal of honour for his contributions to art in Serbia.

He is also promoting his work as an artist.

However, film roles appear to have dried up for him, with his last movie Minamata, in which he played war photographer Eugene Smith, released in 2020.

He will not be a part of a planned sixth Pirates Of The Caribbean film and was also dropped from the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts 3, with Mads Mikkelsen later replacing him as Gellert Grindelwald.

Heard, who welcomed a baby daughter via surrogate in 2021, starred in Zack Snyder’s Justice League last year and is set to appear in Aquaman 2 in 2023.

She said the outcome of the case was a “setback to women”.

“It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously,” she said in a statement on Twitter.

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