Amber Heard’s Appeal Against Johnny Depp Just Hit A Huge Snag

By Nathan Kamal | Published

Amber Heard

The Amber Heard-Johnny Depp defamation case almost instantly became one of the most-watched and discussed legal cases in recent history (despite there being some other pretty big things happening). The eventual verdict, which almost entirely fell in Johnny Depp’s favor, saw Amber Heard found guilty on a number of cases of defamation, which her legal team immediately vowed to appeal. However, it turns out that her ability to appeal the case just got a whole lot hard due to some conditions set by presiding Judge Penney Azcarate.

Per Deadline, the final judgment on the Amber Heard-Johnny Depp case took place on Friday in Virginia, with neither Heard nor Depp present. Reportedly, the Aquaman actor’s legal team attempted to set a schedule for an appeal with Judge Azcarate and were told that she would need to place an $8.35 million bond with 6% interest per year with the court and formally file motions to appeal. Assumedly, that means that they cannot simply ask for an appeal at some point in the future, but must make concrete steps to do so. Given that much of Amber Heard and her legal team’s post-verdict actions has to make public appearances and announce plans for an appeal, this forces them into a position of either having to go forward or not. 

The very specific $8.35 million dollar bond that Judge Azcarate requires of Amber Heard and her legal team in order to appeal appears to be equivalent to the amount the court ordered her to pay Johnny Depp. While the jury decided for Amber Heard to pay Johnny Depp a total of $15 million in damages ($10 million in compensatory and $5 million in punitive), the punitive damages were immediately reduced to $350,000 by the judge per Virginia state law. Further, the jury found that Depp must pay Heard $2 million in compensatory damages, which brings the net amount payable to Depp to $8.35 million. It is also worth noting that, according to one of the jurors who recently gave an anonymous interview, they were given no instruction on dollar amounts of damages and pretty much had to guess what was appropriate. 

Amber Heard’s legal team reportedly said once again that they will still be appealing the verdict in the case. However, they also said that Heard does not have the money to either pay the damages or the equivalent amount to set a bond, which raises the question of how they intend to do that. It also turns out that they have 21 days in which to file an appeal, which is a pretty brief amount of time to come up with the funds to do so. All in all, Judge Azcarate’s orders on the appeal do not look too great for Amber Heard. 

As we have previously reported, Amber Heard may soon have a book deal that could offer some funds. While there has been much discussion across the Internet about whether Amber Heard will still appear in the upcoming DCEU film Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (or have her screen time reduced, removed entirely, or actually increased), all reports indicate that she still will be appearing in the movie, which presumably has a paycheck involved. But for now, it looks like Amber Heard is between a rock and a hard place.