The saga of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp has had plenty of twists and turns already, and now there is yet another surprise. According to the Guardian Nigeria, Amber Heard has filed for bankruptcy and is claiming she does not have funds to pay her former spouse Johnny Depp the monetary damages ordered in the high-profile defamation case between the two. It is currently unclear whether declaring bankruptcy will absolve the Aquaman actress from having to pay the millions she was ordered to by the Commonwealth of Virginia. However, in addition to declaring bankruptcy, Amber Heard and her legal team are continuing to appeal the verdict in the Johnny Depp defamation case.
Amber Heard was ordered by the jury in the Johnny Depp defamation case to pay over $10 million in damages. Depp himself was also ordered to pay his former spouse $2 million in damages. The verdict in the case was decided on June 1, overwhelmingly in Johnny Depp’s favor. Amber Heard’s legal team nearly immediately announced plans to appeal the decision, with a statement being issued stating “We believe the court made errors that prevented a fair and First Amendment-compliant verdict. Therefore, we are appealing the verdict.” The presiding Judge Penney S. Azcarate reduced some of the damages being ordered for Amber Heard to pay Johnny Depp (based on commonwealth maximums), but also required Heard to post a bond equivalent to the total amount in order to appeal.
At one point, Amber Heard’s legal team asked for the Johnny Depp defamation trial verdict to be set aside (which is to say, dismissed). They claimed that one of the jurors in the case was not the individual who had been called, though they did not explicitly claim that there had been fraud involved. However, Judge Penney S. Azcarate dismissed this as grounds for appeal, stating that both Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s legal teams had vetted the juror and had previously had the opportunity to have them disqualified. Additionally, the judge said that as there was no indication the juror in question was prejudiced one way or the other, there were no grounds for appeal.
The defamation trial between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp (in which both parties claimed to have been defamed by the other) made worldwide news and involved shocking text messages, celebrity witnesses like supermodel Kate Moss, and bizarre claims from both. Since the conclusion of the trial, Johnny Depp has seemingly begun to rehabilitate his tarnished former image. He has begun taking roles in feature films (and video games) for the first time in years, and sold out his debut art collection within hours of it being announced. While it is not currently known whether Johnny Depp will be returning to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, it seems more likely now than in quite some time. For her part, Amber Heard may soon have a lucrative book deal, but now seems to be dealing with some crushing financial decisions.