Amber Heard can’t pay $8.35m damages to Johnny Depp, says her lawyer
After a jury determined that Amber Heard was guilty of defaming Johnny Depp in her Washington Post op-ed about being the victim of domestic abuse, she was ordered to pay out millions of dollars in damages to her ex-husband.
Soon after the trial finished, however, Ms Heard’s attorney appeared on morning talk shows to say that her client would be unable to pay the $8.35million in damages to “The Pirates of the Caribbean” star.
“Oh no. Absolutely not,” said attorney Elaine Bredehoft when asked by anchor Savannah Guthrie on the Today show if her client could pay the vast amount to Mr Depp.
Mr Depp won the defamation lawsuit he brought against his ex-wife on all three counts. He was awarded $10m in compensatory charges, related to lost career opportunities, and $5m in punitive damages. Judge Penney Azcarate later reduced the punitive damages to $350,000, the maximum allowed in the state of Virginia, where the trial took place.
For her part, Ms Heard was awarded $2m in damages for one of her three counterclaims. It left her owing $8.35m in total to Mr Depp.
While Ms Heard’s financial status is unclear, Ms Bredehoft did disclose during the trial’s closing arguments that her client has racked up more than $6m in legal costs alone.
In 2016, the 36-year-old received $7m in a settlement from Mr Depp when the pair divorced. Those funds, she had previously said, were intended to be equally split as donations to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
However during the high-stakes trial, it was revealed in video evidence presented by Mr Depp’s attorneys that Ms Heard had yet to make good on that promise. The actress said under cross-examination that she “fully intends” to honour her pledge.
“I would love him to stop suing me so I can,” Ms Heard told the Fairfax County District Court.
It was revealed in trial testimonies that Ms Heard’s acting career has been hampered by the high-profile defamation case, Newsweek reported.