Folks, we’re sorry to inform you that the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard libel trial is back in the news.
Yes, the case was decided in June, but as you may recall, the jury’s decision was not as conclusive as some observers had hoped.
Either way, Depp “won” the trial, receiving $10.35 million in damages based on the jury’s conclusion that Heard had defamed him and caused irreparable damage to his career.
Why, then, is Johnny appealing the verdict?
Well, the jury also decided that Heard should get $2 million, after being smeared by Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman.
Even though Depp won over $8 million, in an act whose pettiness is matched only by his arrogance, he is now dragging Heard back to court in the belief that he shouldn’t be forced to pay her a dime.
The jury’s decision was based on comments Waldman made in an interview, in which he described the fight that allegedly ended Depp and Heard’s marriage.
I heard that the lawyers claimed that Depp was “indirectly responsible” for these statements.
“So Amber and her friends spilled some wine and trashed the place, got their stories directly under the direction of an attorney and publicist, and then made a second 911 call,” Waldman said at the time.
According to court papers filed this week, Depp’s lawyers believe the court “should overturn the judgment on Ms Heard’s counterclaim”, although they are in favor of all other aspects of the verdict.
“The jury’s emphatic favorable verdict on the three libelous statements alleged in his complaint fully vindicated Mr. Depp and restored his reputation,” the filing read.
“However, the trial court was faced with a number of novel and complex legal and factual issues, and while the trial court decided the vast majority of those issues sensibly and correctly, some decisions were wrong.”
Depp’s lawyers also argue that Waldman was hired as an independent contractor and therefore had no right to speak on Depp’s behalf.
Furthermore, they allege that there is no evidence of “actual malice” in their statement, which is one of the conditions for defamation.
“No evidence of Mr Waldman’s actual malice was presented at trial, so the trial against Mr Depp cannot stand,” Depp’s lawyers write.
They go on to argue that Waldman’s words were an “insufficient non-actionable statement of opinion to support a claim of defamation.”
That’s a lot of legal jargon to say “Depp wants to go nuclear, and he won’t sleep as long as Heard has a penny to his name.”
Of course, Heard is also appealing the verdict, so even if Depp’s appeal is rejected, there remains a strong possibility that these two will end up in court again.
The judge has already rejected Heard’s first request for a new trial.
The actress alleged that one of the jurors in the original trial had acted fraudulently, responding to a subpoena that was intended for someone else.
The judge didn’t buy it and Amber’s lawyers went back to the drawing board.
So yes, you may have thought you’d heard enough about one of the most complicated marriages in Hollywood history over the summer.
But it seems almost certain that a sequel to the epic battle between Depp and Heard is coming to a courthouse near you soon.