Actor Johnny Depp has filed court papers to appeal a judgment against him and in favor of his ex-wife Amber Heard. The documents — a notice of appeal, an appeal for bond cost, and filing letter addressed to the clerk of the Fairfax County, Virginia Circuit Court — are file stamped as having been received at 9:37 a.m. Friday.
The notice of appeal reads as follows: “Plaintiff and Counterclaim-Defendant John C. Depp, II, by counsel, hereby appeals to the Court of Appeals of Virginia from all adverse rulings and from the final judgment order of this Circuit Court entered on June 24, 2022.”
The appeal for bond costs says Depp is seeking “to satisfy all damages, costs, and fees that may be awarded against him in the Court of Appeals and in the Supreme Court, if it takes cognizance of the claim.”
A Virginia jury found that Heard defamed Depp through a 2018 Washington Post editorial in which Heard described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse” that had occurred two years prior. Though the op-ed did not name Depp, the jury found that it defamed him by implication. (Heard was married to Depp from early 2015 to early 2017.)
The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages against Heard on June 1 of this year. A trial court judge reduced the punitive damages award to $350,000 pursuant to a cap mandated by state law.
Heard conversely won $2 million from Depp on claims that Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman defamed her.
The financial upshot was a $8.35 million balance owed from Heard to Depp. The public relations upshot was a clear message that Depp — to borrow a phrase from Shakespeare’s “King Lear” — was more sinned against than sinning.
A source close to Depp tells Law&Crime that the Virginia defamation case “was an overwhelmingly positive verdict for Mr. Depp.”
That source also suggested that Depp felt compelled to file his own appeal because Heard had already filed hers.
“The verdict speaks for itself, and Mr. Depp believes that this is a time for both parties to move on with their lives and heal,” the source said. “But if Ms. Heard is determined to pursue further litigation by appealing the verdict, Mr. Depp is filing a concurrent appeal to ensure that the full record and all relevant legal issues are considered by the Court of Appeal[s].”
As Law&Crime previously reported, Heard filed her own notice of appeal on Thursday.
“We believe the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the First Amendment,” Heard’s spokesperson said concomitant to her own filing. “We are therefore appealing the verdict.”
Read Depp’s paperwork below:
The Law&Crime Network’s coverage of Depp’s filings is here:
The Law&Crime Network’s Angenette Levy contributed reporting.
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