Why Johnny Depp's Lawyers Are Arguing He Should Get A New Trial, And How Amber Heard's Testimony Is Involved

Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts
(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

This past November, Johnny Depp lost his libel lawsuit regarding The Sun using “wife beater” to describe the actor after abuse allegations from ex-wife, Amber Heard. The loss directly resulted in his leave from the Fantastic Beasts franchise and Depp has since been swiftly replaced by Mads Mikkelsen in the Harry Potter spinoff series. Now, Depp and his legal team are appealing the U.K. ruling with a new argument against Heard.

Johnny Depp’s lawyers are reportedly fighting back against the November ruling with the claim that Amber Heard has yet to donate $7 million to her divorce settlement as agreed in court with the Pirates of the Caribbean actor. According to TMZ, Depp’s lawyer Andrew Caldecott claimed in a court on Thursday that Heard’s prior testimony was unfair and believes he is entitled to a re-trial because of the balance left unpaid.

Depp’s team believe that Amber Heard’s pledge to donate the $7 million to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the ACLU, gave the Aquaman actress a “considerate boost” in her credibility in court and “tipped the scales” against her ex-husband from the beginning. Caldecott said Heard has only donated $100,000 to the settlement fund since the agreement was made.

However, Amber Heard’s attorney Elaine Bredehoft had responded to these claims earlier this year by admitting she had yet to fulfill the $7 million pledge. Bredehoft said Heard intends to fulfill the full seven figures she had promised, but has been delayed due to the fact that she has been “forced to spend millions” to defend Johnny Depp’s multiple suits against her.

In other words, Amber Heard’s representation says she’s struggling to pay the donation simply because he keeps suing her. Following the court hearing the new appeal by Johnny Depp’s legal team on Thursday, the judge has yet to rule on the bid to do a re-trial. If it does move forward, Heard’s truthfulness regarding her stalled donation will be placed into question.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard spent the greater part of 2020 in court battling out the London libel lawsuit and are already heading into an upcoming defamation case later this year in Virginia state court. This other matter will focus on a countersuit Amber Heard filed against Depp after she claimed he deployed social media bots against her and his team called it a “hoax.” Depp’s suit was for $50 million and Heard’s countersuit in response is asking for $100 million in damages.

Back in January, Amber Heard’s legal team additionally reportedly filed a subpoena requesting information pertaining to Johnny Depp’s time as Jack Sparrow on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, following her claims that he took her “hostage” while on production on one of the Pirates films.

Depp and Heard have a lot more to figure out in court. We’ll continue to follow the situation closely here on CinemaBlend.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.