“We believe the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the First Amendment,” a spokesperson told TMZ. “We are therefore appealing the verdict. While we realize today’s filing will ignite the Twitter bonfires, there are steps we need to take to ensure both fairness and justice.”
Depp’s lead attorney, Ben Chew, responded that the motion is “What we expected, just longer, no more substantive.”
A Virginia jury tried to award Depp $15 million — $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages — though since Virginia law caps punitive damages at $350,000, the final amount was set at $10.35 million. Meanwhile, the same jurors also awarded Heard $2 million for her countersuit, where she had sought $100 million.
Before any appeal could go forward, Judge Penny Azcarate had ordered Heard to post an $8.3 million bond. It is unclear at this time if she has put up that money; she had previously said she cannot afford to pay the damages.
Last week, Heard filed motion for a new trial, saying that a mix-up between a 52-year-old man and his 77-year-old father with the same name constituted jury fraud. Judge Azcarate rejected this argument, noting that the jury summons hadn’t specified a birth date, and writing that she found “no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing.”
While Heard has suffered a series of legal defeats, she had until recently had the upper hand. In 2020, a UK judge ruled that The Sun did not commit libel against Depp by labelling him a wife beater, noting that “the great majority” of Heard’s allegations had been “proved to the civil standard.”