Following Amber Heard‘s file to appeal ex Johnny Depp‘s $15M judgment against her, the Pirates of the Caribbean star clapped back with an appeal of his own. Amber was awarded $2M in her countersuit against Johnny, and the Edward Scissorhands actor is also pushing back on that much smaller award. Per documents obtained by HollywoodLife, Johnny filed his appeal on Friday, July 22 at the Virginia Court of Appeals in Fairfax County, Virginia.
News hit Thursday, July 21 that lawyers for the Aquaman beauty, 36, had officially filed an appeal in Johnny’s infamous defamation case against her. Per papers obtained by HL, Amber seeks to appeal the verdict stating that she was guilty of sabotaging her ex-husband’s career, when she wrote an editorial in the Washington Post identifying herself as a “public figure” representing domestic violence. Amber never named Johnny in the op-ed. The Ed Wood star was previously awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, in a highly publicized case that overwhelmingly cast Amber as the villain in the court of popular opinion.
“We believe the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the First Amendment,” read a statement forwarded to HL from Amber’s spokesperson. “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.” Amber’s move to have the entire case thrown out by mistrial was denied on July 13.
Amber had asked judge Penney Azcarate to throw out the case, claiming that a wrong juror was seated and ultimately helped seal the actress’s fate in the defamation case. Meanwhile, Johnny’s immediate post trial statement declared that “The jury gave me my life back.”
This isn’t the first time the actor has filed an appeal. After a dramatic loss in his UK libel case against The Sun, whom he sued for labeling him a “wife beater,” Johnny appealed in November of 2020. However, Judge Andrew Nicol again ruled against him, upholding his original verdict that of 12 of 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence against Amber did happen in his opinion, per the evidence presented.
“The findings of fact by a first instance tribunal (particularly one, such as myself, who has heard oral evidence) are rarely open to challenge on appeal,” read the ruling. “In any event, I do not consider that the proposed grounds of appeal have a reasonable prospect of success (and that is also the case so far as the grounds of appeal suggest that I erred in principle or in law) and there is not some other compelling reason why permission to appeal should be granted.”
Johnny was ultimately forced to resign from his role in the Fantastic Beasts franchise following the loss.