Almost immediately following the verdict in the dueling defamation lawsuits between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, Heard’s legal team announced plans to appeal the verdict. Now, the notice to appeal has been officially been filed, so everybody is likely preparing for the social media firestorm to begin anew.
Amber Heard was ordered to pay Johnny Depp $15 million in damages due to what a jury found to be defaming statements in a Washington Post editorial she wrote. The damage award was lowered to a little over $10 million in order to comply with Virginia state law, but Heard’s side isn’t ready to pay that. Variety has confirmed the notice to appeal has been filed. In filing the appeal a spokesperson for Amber Heard said the court made errors the first time around, and thus the verdict needed to be appealed, despite the “Twitter bonfires” that will come as a result. The statement reads...
And there will certainly be "Twitter bonfires" following this appeal. The first trial was a media, and social media, circus, so there's no reason to believe that the appeal will be any different. both sides had their supporters, as well as their own very vocal detractors.
The social media attacks were even an element of Amber Heard's defamation case, as the Aquaman star believed that Depp had hired an army of bots to defame her on Twitter. A recent report indicated that this wasn't the case, that most of the people attacking Heard were, in fact, human.
Heard's legal team had previously tried to get the verdict set aside entirely, arguing that one of the jurors in the case was improper, and therefore the verdict should be nullified. The judge has ruled on that issue, and no fraud was found, so the request to kill the verdict was denied. Heard's team was likely waiting for a decision on this before moving forward with the appeal.
Considering how long it took the initial trial to get in front of a jury, it could be some time before this appeal is actually heard. Once that happens, a variety of things could happen. If the appellate court does not find any of the errors that Heard's side claims exist, the verdict will stand. Even if it does find errors, that doesn't mean we'll see another trial. The appeals court could simply modify, or set aside the judgement. meaning Heard could end up having to pay less, or possibly nothing.
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