Judge finalizes verdict for Depp vs. Heard defamation trial

Actor Johnny Depp returns to Fairfax County Courthouse after a break during his trial against Actress Amber Heard in Fairfax, Virginia on April 13. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

June 27 (UPI) — A Virginia judge has finalized the verdict in the defamation case between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard after the former couple failed to reach a settlement.

Judge Penney Azcarate in a brief hearing at the Fairfax County court on Friday finalized the verdict reached by a jury earlier this month, Entertainment Tonight reported.

Depp had been awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, though the latter were reduced to the state’s statutory cap of $350,000.

The court also awarded $2 million in compensatory damages to Heard for her counterclaim that she had been defamed by Depp’s attorney — who had referred to her allegations of domestic violence as a “hoax.”

Heard’s team has indicated that she intends to appeal the judgement. She has 21 days to file an appeal.

Azcarate told Heard’s attorney Elaine Bredehoft on Friday that she would have to file motions with the court to appeal the judgment and would need to put up an $8.35 million bond with 6% interest per year for the appeal to move forward, Deadline reported.

Bredehoft told the court Friday that Heard, who met Depp while co-starring in “The Rum Diary,” does not have the money to pay Depp per the judgment or meet the conditions for the bond to appeal.

“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,” a representative for Heard told Entertainment Tonight.

Depp will return to court in July for an assault and battery lawsuit alleging the actor repeatedly hit a crew member during the filming of his crime-drama film “City of Lies” about the LAPD investigation into the 1997 murder of the Notorious B.I.G.

He will be represented in that case by Camille Vasquez, who represented the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star in his victory of Heard.


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