In order to comply with a subpoena for evidence that was utilized in the case, Johnny Depp now has to pay the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) $38,000 in attorneys’ fees after winning a defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
The ACLU demanded $86,000 from Depp as reimbursement for production expenses. The ACLU argued that the money was needed to pay for the expenses of responding to subpoenas from Depp in an earlier case.
Stephanie Teplin, an ACLU lawyer, said that the $86,000 was reasonable. Depp reportedly asked for thousands of documents over a six-year period as evidence to be used in the defamation trial. Depp’s lawyers filed a motion earlier in June, refusing to pay the $86,000. On Friday, a judge ruled that Johnny Depp must pay the ACLU $38,000 in attorneys fees.
In a recent ruling, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron decided that the ACLU would only receive $38,000 from Depp. This is much less than what was originally requested.
Depp’s lawyer, Jessica Meyers of Brown Rudnick, stated that the ACLU’s original request was “exorbitant and unreasonable.”
When contacted by Newsweek an ACLU spokesperson wrote,”We are pleased that the Court recognized that the ACLU complied with Mr. Depp’s requests and did so at great expense.”
“They [ACLU] were responsible for drafting and placing the op-ed that the Virginia jury just found to be defamatory to Mr. Depp,” Meyers said, according to Law & Crime.
Depp was largely ruled in favor by a jury on June 2. The jury found that Heard had defamed the actor in an op-ed she wrote with The Washington Post. The headline of the op-ed said “I spoke up against sexual violence—and faced our culture’s wrath.”
During the six-week-long trial, it was found that the ACLU had helped Heard craft and place the op-ed with The Washington Post, and the organization was using Heard as an “Ambassador for women’s rights, with a focus on gender-based violence.”
After she and Depp divorced in 2016, Heard said she was going to donate her $7 million divorce settlement to charity. $3.5 million of that money would go to the ACLU and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. However, during her cross-examination in the trial, it became clear that she had not donated all of the money yet. Despite this, the ACLU said they were still backing her.
Depp and Heard have come to an agreement. Depp has to pay $38,000 to the ACLU and Heard has to pay $8.35 million in damages. However, Heard plans on appealing.
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