Amber Heard is not going down without a fight.
As Perezcious readers know, the Aquaman star was found liable for defamation after claiming to be a victim of domestic abuse in her 2018 Washington Post op-ed. She was ordered to pay her ex-husband Johnny Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, though Judge Penney Azcarate quickly reduced the punitive damages to the maximum allowed in Virginia, $350,000.
While Amber was awarded $2 million in damages for claims made by Depp’s former attorney, the verdict was still a definitive loss for her. And now her lawyer is speaking out on her plans for the future and what she thinks influenced the jury’s decision.
In an interview with Savannah Guthrie on Today Thursday morning, attorney Elaine Bredehoft declared that her client “absolutely” plans to appeal the verdict, sharing about the actress:
“Absolutely. She has some excellent grounds for it.”
She went on to explain how Amber’s legal team was restricted from discussing the 2020 UK libel case that Johnny lost, explaining:
“We even tried to get the UK judgment in to dismiss this case because he already had his shot, and that’s one of the issues. But also a number of the evidentiary issues. There was so much evidence that did not come in.”
Most significantly, she seems to believe that the core root of the problem was the fact that her client was “demonized” throughout the trial — by Depp’s lawyers and those on social media. The lawyer claimed:
“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.”
The case quickly became a viral sensation with many tuning in live to watch the trial go down. She slammed the approval of cameras in the courtroom, calling it “a zoo.” But that wasn’t the only thing that she thinks might have confused the jurors.
Not only were people watching the trial closely, but it was also plastered on almost every social media platform, making it hard for anyone to avoid — likely even the jurors were told not to look up anything in their free time. And, for the most part, the public’s comments were severely against the actress, Elaine said:
“[The jurors] went home every night. They have families. The families are on social media. We had a 10 day break in the middle because of a Judicial Conference. There’s no way they couldn’t have been influenced by it, and it was horrible. It really, really was lopsided. …It was like the Roman Colosseum, how they view this whole case.”
When asked if she’s “stunned” that the jurors “essentially rejected” Amber’s domestic abuse allegations, Bredehoft shared:
“Really what happened here is a tale of two trials. Johnny Depp brought a suit in the UK for the same case, and the burden of proof was easier for him there.”
She went on to reference the UK case in which Depp sued The Sun for referring to him as a “wife beater,” adding:
“The Sun had to actually prove that it was true. And the court found there – and we weren’t allowed to tell the jury this – that Mr. Depp had committed at least 12 acts of domestic violence, including sexual violence, against Amber. 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, Mr. Depp lost.”
When Savannah then brought up the fact that in her closing arguments, Elaine impressed upon the jury that if they found any one instance that Depp had been abusive toward Amber — even if it wasn’t physical — that they’d have to side in her favor, making their decision that much more shocking, Elaine mused:
“The other thing to bear in mind here is nothing changed. The op-ed didn’t even mention Johnny Depp by name. So, what basically they did here is demonize her. And they did. They were able to suppress the medical records, which were very, very significant because they showed a pattern […] going all the way back to 2012 of Amber reporting this to her therapist, for example. We had [a] significant amount of texts, including from Mr. Depp’s assistants, saying, ‘When I told him he kicked you, he cried. He is so sorry.’ That didn’t come in.”
Ultimately, the lawyer is siding with Amber on this verdict, insisting that it is a major “setback,” saying:
“[It sends] a horrible message… It’s a significant setback because that is exactly what it means. Unless you pull out your phone and you video your spouse or your significant other beating you, effectively, you won’t be believed.”
Oh, and on that massive sum Amber now owes? Elaine insisted her client can “absolutely not” afford to pay the nearly $10.4 million in damages! Well, no s**t.
Hear more from the attorney’s chat (below).
It’s clear what narrative Heard’s team is sticking with here by the number of times Elaine said she was “demonized.” Wow! It’ll be interesting to see if Amber really does appeal. No matter what side you’re on, though, the outcome of this case — and perhaps a future appeal — definitely complicate future efforts to bring abuse to light. Thoughts?