Johnny Depp filed documents Wednesday to appeal a Virginia court’s ruling that one of Depp’s lawyers defamed his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
Depp was awarded $10.35 million in damages after a jury found Heard defamed Depp following a six-week trial.
Heard lost the defamation case but was awarded $2 million in her countersuit as jurors found that Depp defamed her through his attorney.
In documents reviewed by Fox News Digital, Depp argued the court “should reverse the judgment on Ms. Heard’s counterclaim,” but he was otherwise in favor of the jury’s decision.
“The jury’s emphatic favorable verdict on all three defamatory statements alleged in his complaint fully vindicated Mr. Depp and restored his reputation,” the documents stated.
“However, the trial court was confronted with a number of novel and complex legal and factual issues, and although the trial court decided the vast majority of those issues sensibly and correctly, a few rulings were erroneous.”
Heard claimed Depp was “vicariously liable” for statements his attorney made to a tabloid in 2020, a point the jury agreed with when awarding her $2 million following the trial.
His lawyers argued in Depp’s appeal that the lawyer, Adam Waldman, was retained as an independent contractor and Depp wasn’t liable for his statements.
Another point of contention was proving Waldman acted with “actual malice.”
“No evidence of Mr. Waldman’s actual malice was presented at trial, so the judgment against Mr. Depp cannot be sustained,” the documents state.
Depp’s team also argued Waldman’s words were a “non-actionable statement of opinion insufficient to support a claim of defamation.”
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star initially sought a $50 million payout over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed Heard wrote that didn’t specifically name Depp but discussed her experiences with domestic abuse at the hands of a former partner. Heard countersued for $100 million in damages.
Less than one month after the ruling, Heard filed a notice of appeal to overturn the verdict.
“We believe the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the First Amendment. We are therefore appealing the verdict,” Heard’s spokesperson said in a statement.
A spokesperson for Depp said there is no basis for Heard’s appeal.
“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,” a representative said. “We remain confident in our case and that this verdict will stand.”