Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are appealing their verdicts in their Virginia defamation case.
After Heard filed a notice of appeal with the Virginia Court of Appeals on Thursday, Depp filed his own notice of appeal Friday seeking to overturn the $2 million verdict in Heard’s countersuit. While the jury found the actress defamed Depp in her 2018 op-ed and awarded him over $10 million, they sided with Heard on one of her three counterclaims, finding that Depp defamed her via comments made by his attorney Adam Waldman in 2020.
A source close to Depp told PEOPLE it was an “overwhelmingly positive verdict” for the actor, who “believes that this is a time for both parties to move on with their lives and heal.” The source adds, “But if Ms. Heard is determined to pursue further litigation by appealing the verdict, Mr. Depp is filing a concurrent appeal to ensure that the full record and all relevant legal issues are considered by the Court of Appeal.”
Last week, Judge Penney Azcarate denied Heard’s request for a mistrial. On Thursday, after considering the situation, Heard’s team said they would be appealing the case. This will require Heard to post a bond for the full amount of damages she owes. In a statement about the appeal, a spokesperson for Heard said they believe “the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the First Amendment.”
“We are therefore appealing the verdict,” they added. “While we realize today’s filing will ignite the Twitter bonfires, there are steps we need to take to ensure both fairness and justice.”
Responding to the development, a Depp spokesperson said in a statement obtained by Deadline: “The jury listened to the extensive evidence presented during the six-week trial and came to a clear and unanimous verdict that the defendant herself defamed Mr. Depp, in multiple instances,” read the statement. “We remain confident in our case and that this verdict will stand.”
Johnny Depp arrives at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax
When they spoke out about the outcome of their contentious six-week trial on June 1, Depp said he felt like the jury “gave me my life back,” while Heard said the verdict would be a “setback” for women who speak out.
Said Depp at the time, “My decision to pursue this case, knowing very well the height of the legal hurdles that I would be facing and the inevitable, worldwide spectacle into my life, was only made after considerable thought. From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me. I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that.”
“The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun,” he added.
Heard, meanwhile said, “I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence and sway of my ex-husband.”
Actress Amber Heard, right, stands next to her attorney Elaine Bredehoft,
“I believe Johnny’s attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech and ignore evidence that was so conclusive that we won in the U.K.,” she added. “I’m sad I lost this case. 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.”
“How could they not come to that conclusion?” she said. “They had sat in those seats and heard over three weeks of nonstop relentless testimony from paid employees and, towards the end of the trial, randos, as I say. … I don’t blame them. I actually understand. He’s a beloved character and people feel they know him. He’s a fantastic actor.”