Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Fail to Reach Settlement, Could Appeal Judgments

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard failed to reach a settlement on Friday, raising the prospect of an appeal in their high-profile defamation case, the Los Angeles Times reports.On Friday, the judge overseeing the litigation finalized the verdict, with a $2 million judgment against Depp and a $10.35 million judgment against Heard. Interest will accrue at 6.5 percent each year until the judgment is paid, according to Deadline.A representative for Heard suggested that she intends to appeal the verdict.“You don’t ask for a pardon if you are innocent. And, you don’t decline to appeal if you know you are right,” the spokesperson told the Times.If Heard does appeal, she would be required to post a bond equivalent to the entire judgment in addition to $480,000 in interest, according to the New York Post, citing an unnamed source.Earlier this month, a jury in Fairfax, Virginia, awarded Depp $15 million in damages after concluding that Heard libeled him in a newspaper opinion piece about alleged domestic violence. The court reduced the jury award to $10.35 million, which is a damages limit imposed by state law.The jury also found that a former lawyer for Depp had defamed Heard and awarded her $2 million in damages.One of Depp’s lawyers had previously said that Depp might have been willing to settle without requiring that Heard pay any damages if she stipulated to not appealing the verdict.“We obviously can’t disclose attorney-client communications, but as Mr. Depp testified . . . this was never about money for Mr. Depp,” Benjamin Chew told ABC News. “This was about restoring his reputation, and he’s done that”A lawyer for Heard has said that she does not have the funds to pay the judgment, which is effectively $8.35 million when accounting for the $2 million in damages imposed against Depp.“Oh no, absolutely not,” Heard’s lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, told NBC News when asked if Heard can cover the judgment.Heard is reportedly “broke,” in part because of the legal fees incurred from the trial.

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[Featured image: Amber Heard and Johnny Depp arrive in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Va., Friday, May 27, 2022. Actor Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” (AP Photo/Steve Helber, Pool)]