The mud fight between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard doesn’t seem to want to end. Soon after the verdict in the defamation trial, Heard’s attorney announced that the actress planned to appeal the verdict.
The jury in Fairfax County was certain: actress Amber Heard slandered her ex-husband Johnny Depp and damaged his reputation with an opinion piece in the “Washington Post”. They found the 36-year-old guilty and gave her a heavy sentence. She should pay Depp $15 million in damages. But Heard probably doesn’t want to accept the verdict. In several US programs, the actress’ lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, made it clear that Heard intended to appeal the verdict.
After the seven-member jury came to a decision on Wednesday and announced the verdict, Bredehoft said that Heard was “heartbroken”. Speaking to NBC News, the attorney said, “One of the first things she said was, ‘I’m so sorry for all the women out there.'” The verdict sends a “terrible message” and is a “significant setback,” the attorney continued. “If you don’t pull out your phone and film your spouse or significant other hitting you, you’re not going to be believed.”
“Excellent Reasons” for Appeal
Amber Heard wants to keep fighting. The actress “absolutely” intends to appeal and has “some excellent reasons” to do so. Depp’s lawyers “demonized” Heard and suppressed evidence. Among other things, Bredehoft pointed out that the trial in Great Britain could not be mentioned in front of the jury and medical records could not be presented either. These showed a pattern that stretched back to 2012. Including text messages from Depp’s assistant. “They said: ‘When I told him that he kicked you, he cried,'” said Bredehoft. However, this message was not admitted in court, but a lot of other things that confused the jury.
In an interview with “CBC Mornings”, the lawyer also spoke about the problem of the cameras, which would have turned the courtroom into a zoo. “So not only did we have a group of Depp fans there every day – 100 were allowed in, they were queuing at 1am for their bracelets to get into the courtroom – but we also had everything on camera , and we had tremendous social media that was very, very, very anti-Amber,” Bredehoft said.
Influencing the jury?
What’s more, the attorney also spoke about influencing the jury with “one-way social media chatter and posts.” The jury was asked not to read anything about the case, but: “They have weekends, they have families, they have social media”. And then there’s the 10-day adjournment of the trial for a judge’s conference. She doesn’t think the jury was able to escape the media hype. “How,” asked Bredehoft, “could they not have been influenced?”.
If Heard’s attorneys can prove that it was actually “impossible” for the jury not to be influenced by social media clips, as Bredehoft pointed out on the Today show, that would be enough for an appeal. If there were then a revision, the millions that Heard is supposed to pay to Depp would also be off the table. The lawyer confirmed during the conversation that the actress lacks the financial means to pay the damages anyway.
Quelle: Washington Post, NBC News, Today Show