Hollywood star Johnny Depp has launched his own countermove, just a day after his ex-wife Amber Heard gave formal notice of intent to appeal the verdict in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' actor's defamation trial against her. According to Deadline, in the paperwork filed in Fairfax County, Depp has put his legal players on the board. He has appealed the USD 2m defamation award a jury in Virginia handed to his ex-wife Amber Heard at their trial last month.
"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," said the four-page notice of appeal.
A legal tactic right now, Depp's appeal is as much in pure response to Heard's appeal of July 21 as it is an effort to try to claw back the USD 2 million award that the Virginia jury gave Heard in her USD 100 million countersuit against Depp and his 2019 USD 50 million complaint, as per Deadline.
Heard's lawyers had announced they would appeal immediately after the jury found on June 1 that she had defamed Depp by publishing an op-ed in the Washington Post in which she described herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." The jury held that the statement was false and was made with "actual malice."
They awarded Depp USD 15 million in damages but Heard had to pay USD 10.35 million due to a Virginia law limiting punitive damages (the judge reduced the amount). In her countersuit, Heard won one of the three defamation counts and was awarded USD 2 million in damages.
Heard's lawyers had previously asked Judge Penney Azcarate to set aside the verdict for several reasons, including the allegation that one of the jurors showed up to the trial despite never receiving a summons, reported Variety. That request had been denied by the judge.