From the day that the verdict was handed down in the dueling defamation lawsuits between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, Heard’s side made it clear they planned to appeal the verdict. Now that appeal has been officially filed by Heard, meaning the two sides are headed back to court. Johnny Depp’s legal team is getting back in front of the media as well, with Depp’s lawyer Camille Vasquez making her first statement about the appeal.
Speaking CBS This Morning, Camille Vasquez was asked what she thought when she heard that Amber Heard was appealing the verdict. She said that she certainly wasn’t surprised as the appeal was ultimately expected, so the team already had a strategy planned for what to do if and when the appeal happened. And of course, with the first trial having gone their way, they don't think a court will reverse that decision. Vasquez explained…
The jury found both sides liable for defamation, though the monetary award given to Depp far exceeded the one awarded to Amber Heard’s side. Now that Heard has appealed, Depp’s team has now done the same, so the appeals court will be reviewing both sides of the verdict.
With both sides of the verdict now being reviewed, the possibility exists that the situation could get worse for Amber Heard. If only the verdict against her were reviewed, the worst thing that would be likely to happen is that the appeals court doesn't reduce the damages and things remain the same. Now, it's at least possible an appeals court leave the award to Depp the same, but reduce the one given to Heard, making the balance of the financial burden on her greater.
This was likely a calculated risk on the part of Amber Heard's legal team. Camille Vasquez is blunt in the interview that if Heard's side had not filled an appeal, Depp's side would not have done so on their own. Despite the small award given to Heard, they had won out and appealing the small verdict against them would have likely been more trouble than it was worth. Heard's team likely knew this was a possibility but decided it was worth taking the risk.
In the grand scheme of things the Aquaman actress has a great deal more to gain. Even if the appeals court doesn't vacate the entire verdict against Heard, it might reduce the damages being given to Johnny Depp significantly. Even if the verdict against Depp is also reduced, if the appeals court were to decide to cut both awards in half, that would be a bigger win for Heard's side.
This legal battle certainly isn't over yet, and that means not only are we going to see continued battles in court, we'll continue to see the fight in the media, and social media, as well.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis. Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.