Johnny Depp has filed an appeal against Amber Heard’s “erroneous” counterclaim win, which came following their multi-million dollar defamation trial.
Lawyers on behalf of the Hollywood actor said the judgement in the Aquaman star’s favour was “fatally flawed”, but that those in Mr Depp’s favour should still stand.
Ms Heard was awarded two million dollars (£1.8 million) in damages following her counterclaim, which alleged that she had been defamed by one of Mr Depp’s lawyers, Adam Waldman.
The counterclaim stated that the actor was “vicariously liable” for the comments by Mr Waldman, made to the Daily Mail in 2020, which had described Ms Heard’s abuse allegations as a “hoax”.
“Mr Depp does not appeal the verdict on his claim, nor does he appeal the verdict in his favor on two of the three Waldman Statements,” the documents, obtained by the PA news agency, stated.
“His appeal relates solely to the Waldman Statement on which Ms Heard prevailed, a statement in a Daily Mail article dated April 27, 2020 (‘April 27 Waldman Statement’).
“The judgment in Ms Heard’s favor on that lone statement is erroneous.”
It continued: “Ms Heard’s claim was fatally flawed and the trial court should have granted Mr Depp’s motion for summary judgment and his motion to strike the evidence.
“Even if the Court were to conclude that Mr Depp could be held liable for Mr Waldman’s allegedly tortious conduct, the trial court nonetheless erred in denying Mr Depp’s Motion for Summary Judgment and Motion to Strike because Ms Heard failed to present evidence to establish one of the required elements of defamation.”
The actor sued his former partner over a 2018 article she wrote for the Washington Post about her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse, which his lawyers said falsely accused him of being an abuser.
In June this year a jury at Fairfax County Court returned a verdict in his favour and he was awarded 10.3 million dollars (£8.43 million) for damage to his reputation.
“This Court should reverse the judgment on Ms Heard’s Counterclaim as to the April 27 Waldman Statement, but should otherwise affirm the judgment in Mr Depp’s favor,” the filing concluded.
Since the trial’s conclusion Mr Depp has begun a comeback in the entertainment industry.
In August it was announced that he would be directing his first feature film in 25 years: Modi, about the Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani.
He later made a series of strange, surprise appearances at the 2022 MTV VMAs as the channel’s famous mascot, the Moon Man.
Late last month it was also announced that he will embark on a UK tour with his band the Hollywood Vampires next summer.