Johnny Depp, Amber Heard Jury Verdict Finalized Without Settlement

  • Johnny Depp and Amber Heard failed to reach a settlement before Friday’s deadline.
  • This finalizes the jury’s verdict: Heard owes Depp over $10 million, while he owes her $2 million.
  • A spokesperson for Heard indicated she plans to appeal the verdict.

The judge overseeing the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard finalized the verdict in the case on Friday, sealing off any possibility that the two actors would reach a last-minute settlement.

A representative for Heard indicated she plans to appeal the verdict.

Jurors in the case delivered a verdict on June 1, finding that Depp and Heard defamed each other.

The decision, however, tilted heavily in Depp’s favor. Jurors took his side in all three of his claims against Heard and granted him $10 million in compensatory damages and an additional $5 million in punitive damages. They gave Heard just one victory out of her three counterclaims and gave her $2 million in compensatory damages.

Judge Penney Azcarate, who presided over the six-week trial in Fairfax County, Virginia, didn’t enter the jury verdict into the docket immediately. Instead, she said that Depp and Heard had until June 24 to come up with a settlement, which she would enter instead of the verdict. If they failed to come to a settlement, the jury verdict would stand.

At the hearing Friday, lawyers for the two celebrities told the judge that no settlement had been reached. Azcarate entered the jury verdict into the docket, making it official. Her order also said that the amount owed by each party was subject to a 6% annual interest rate, in accordance with Virginia law. Neither Depp nor Heard was present in the courthouse.

Following Friday’s court hearing, a spokesperson for Heard issued a statement to reporters that made a reference to Republican members of Congress asking for pardons amid their attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“As stated in yesterday’s congressional hearings, you don’t ask for a pardon if you are innocent,” the spokesperson said. “And, you don’t decline to appeal if you know you are right.”

In an exhibit attached to Azcarate’s order Friday, Depp’s attorneys objected to the $2 million judgment against him as well, leaving open the possibility he may appeal that portion of the verdict.

Benjamin Chew, an attorney representing Depp, hinted at the possibility of a settlement in an interview with the “Good Morning America” ​​host George Stephanopoulos shortly after the trial. He said Depp might agree to waive the monetary damages in return for Heard promising not to appeal the verdict.

In her own interview after the trial, Heard said she stood by her testimony accusing Depp of physically abusing her during their relationship. Azcarate reduced the punitive damages she owed to $350,000 because of limits set by state law. But Elaine Bredehoft, one of Heard’s lawyers, said the actress would not be able to afford the $8.35 million balance owed to Depp and that she would appeal the verdict.

Heard and Depp ultimately didn’t reach any sort of settlement over the case. She now has 30 days to file a notice of appeal for the case.

This article has been updated.

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