After a highly-publicised hearing in June of this year, a jury found that Heard had defamed the Pirates of the Caribbean actor in a 2018 article she wrote for The Washington Post. The opinion piece was about her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse, which Depp’s lawyers said falsely accused him of being an abuser.
The verdict meant that Depp was awarded $15 million (£13 million) in total, broken down as $10 million (£8.3 million) in compensatory damages and $5 million (£4 million) in punitive damages. Meanwhile, Heard was awarded $2 million (£1.7 million) in compensatory damages relating to a series of statements made by Depp's lawyer Adam Waldman.
Through Waldman's statements – which included describing Heard's allegations as "a hoax" – the jury found that Depp had defamed his ex. This is the verdict that the actor has appealed to have overturned, with Depp arguing that he should not be held liable for Waldman’s comments.
"As a matter of law, Mr Waldman is an independent contractor, whose allegedly tortious conduct is not automatically attributable to Mr Depp," the actor's appeal brief read. "The jury’s emphatic favourable verdict on all three defamatory statements alleged in his complaint fully vindicated Mr Depp and restored his reputation."
The brief went on: "However, the trial court was confronted with a number of novel and complex legal and factual issues, and although the trial court decided the vast majority of those issues sensibly and correctly, a few rulings were erroneous."
News of Depp's plan to appeal the verdict came just hours after it was announced that he'll be making a surprise cameo appearance in Rihanna's upcoming Savage X Fenty fashion show. According to sources who spoke to TMZ, Rihanna and her team invited Depp to be a part of the show, and both sides are excited about the collaboration.
TMZ reports that Depp has already filmed his part for the show, and it'll be included in the Amazon Prime Video premiere on 9 November.
Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247, is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for free, confidential specialist support. You can also visit click here to request a safe time to be contacted or to access live chat (live chat available 3pm-10pm, Monday to Friday).
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