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"She was demonized here": Amber Heard's lawyer Elaine Bredehoft reveals actress cannot pay damages, claims social media influenced jury's verdict

Amber Heard and Elaine Bredehoft (Image via Elizabeth Frantz/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)
Amber Heard and Elaine Bredehoft (Image via Elizabeth Frantz/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)
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Abhirup Sengupta

Following the verdict of the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, the latter's lawyer Elaine Bredehoft revealed that they will appeal the ruling on behalf of Heard. According to her, the Aquaman star will not be able to pay the $8 million damages awarded to Depp.

Bredehoft appeared on the Today Show on Thursday, June 2, and made the revelation about Heard’s appeal. The attorney added how the actress has “excellent grounds” to appeal and will follow up accordingly. She told Savannah Guthrie in relation to the verdict:

"That's because she was demonized here...A number of things were allowed in this court that should not have been allowed, and it caused the jury to be confused."
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On June 1, the jury decided mostly in favor of Depp by agreeing to all three counts of his claims. Meanwhile, the jury only agreed to Heard’s second count of her counterclaim, which fetched her $2 million in compensatory damages.


What did Amber Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft say about the actress’ plans to appeal?

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Elaine Bredehoft claimed on the show that Depp had won since “enormous amounts of evidence was suppressed.” She further referred to the actor’s 2020 libel trial against The Sun publication after they referred to him as a “wife beater.” She said:

“Well, you know, really what happened here is it’s a tale of two trials. Johnny Depp brought a suit in the UK for the same case.”

The attorney explained how it would have been easier for Depp to win the 2020 libel trial as the burden of proof was with The Sun. However, at the time, the jury found Depp to have committed at least 12 counts of domestic violence against Heard. Elaine Bredehoft opined:

“So what did Depp’s team learn from this? Demonize Amber and suppress the evidence. We had an enormous amount of evidence that was suppressed in this case that was in the UK case. In the UK case when it came in, Amber won and Mr. Depp lost.”

Elaine Bredehoft also revealed that Amber Heard will be unable to pay the money awarded to Depp by the jury. Previously, Bredehoft had mentioned how Heard had to pay $6 million to attorneys after the divorce settlement, which had rendered her unable to pay her pledged $7 million to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).


What will happen if Amber Heard is unable to pay the damages amount to Johnny Depp?

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As per the verdict of the trial, Heard is supposed to pay Johnny Depp $10.35 million in damages. Depp was initially awarded $10 million in compensatory damages along with $5 million in punitive damages. However, according to state laws in Virginia, there is a cap of $350,000 on the punitive damages.

If Amber Heard is unable to pay the amount, she can proceed with her plan of appealing the ruling of the Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia. However, if the actress decides not to proceed with the appeal, Heard will have her current and future wages seized till the total amount is paid to Johnny Depp.

However, the 36-year-old star may also choose to file for bankruptcy, which could waive off her debt of $10.35 million to Depp. As per the bankruptcy law, if her actions are further proven to be “willful and malicious,” then she may not be able to get by this obligation.


Edited by Mohini Banerjee
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