Amber Heard’s lawyer said in an interview on Thursday that the actress was not able to pay the $10.35 million in damages that she owes her ex-husband, actor Johnny Depp, after a jury ruled this week that she had defamed him in a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post.
The jury awarded Depp $15 million — $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages — but the judge limited the punitive damages to $350,000 in accordance with Virginia law.
During an interview on NBC’s “Today” with host Savannah Guthrie, Heard attorney Elaine Bredehoft was asked by Guthrie if Heard was able to pay the $10.35 million.
“Oh no, absolutely not,” Bredehoft responded.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 2, 2022
Bredehoft said that Heard would “absolutely” file an appeal because she believes the actress “has some excellent grounds for it.”
Bredehoft claimed that Depp had unfair advantages over Heard ranging from his “wealth, power, and fame” to the amount of support that he had on social media and at the court house.
“I think some of it had to do with the amount of social media that was involved, the cameras in the courtroom,” Bredehoft said. “The fact that they had 100 Depp fans in there every day, it was like coliseum as opposed to a dignified courtroom. I think all of those things had a negative influence here that caused this to be much more challenging and much more difficult.”
“But reality is social media is everywhere, it was all over the TVs the radios, the internet, everywhere,” she said. “It was really hard to block that out. And since it was so vitriolic to Amber I think it made it a lot more difficult.”
Depp praised the jury for giving him his “life back” after he was the victim of defamatory statements from Heard.
“False, very serious and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me,” Depp said in a statement. “It had already traveled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career.”
Heard released a statement that cast herself as a victim and tried to claim that the jury’s verdict was a “setback” for women.
“I’m sad I lost this case,” she said. “But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American – to speak freely and openly.”