'We remain confident': Johnny Depp reacts after Amber Heard begins appeal process
- Amber Heard defamed Johnny Depp in a 2018 op-ed she wrote about surviving abuse
- The jury awarded her $2 million in damages on one of her three defamation countersuit claims
- The day after the verdict, her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft said the actress cannot afford to pay the damages amount
Actor Johnny Depp opened up on Friday after ex-wife Amber Heard followed through on her plans to appeal the verdict in their defamation trial.
The 36-year-old actress made it official on Thursday when she filed a notice of appeal in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Heard said, "We believe the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the First Amendment. We are therefore appealing the verdict. While we realise today's filing will ignite the Twitter bonfires, there are steps we need to take to ensure both fairness and justice."
In a statement shared by Deadline, a spokesperson for Depp, said they are "confident" the verdict will be upheld.
"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 Depp, in multiple instances," read the statement. "We remain confident in our case and that this verdict will stand."
A seven-person jury handed down their verdict on June 1, awarding him more than $10 million in damages. They determined that Heard defamed the actor in a 2018 op-ed she wrote about surviving abuse, though she didn't mention him by name in the article. Additionally, the jury awarded her $2 million in damages on one of her three defamation countersuit claims.
The new development comes a week after Judge Penney Azcarate denied Heard's request for a mistrial over an issue involving one of the jurors seemingly not being the one from their household summoned for jury duty.
The judge reportedly said no evidence of fraud was found among the jury and noted that Heard's team had weeks to speak up about the error rather than wait until after an unfavourable verdict.
When the judge made the verdict official late last month, she ruled that the damages will come with a 6 percent annual interest, and noted that if Heard were to appeal she would have to post a bond for the full amount of the damages she owes.
The day after the verdict, her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft said in a TV interview that Heard planned to appeal and the actress can "absolutely not" afford to pay the damages amount. Bredehoft had mentioned in closing arguments that Heard had racked up $6 million in legal fees by that point in the trial.
Depp's lawyer Benjamin Chew later said in another televised interview that, for Depp, the case was "never about money ... this was about restoring his reputation, and he's done that."
In reaction to the verdict last month, Depp said in a statement he felt like the jury, made up of five men and two women, "gave me my life back." Heard, meanwhile, called the verdict a "setback" for women.