Amber Heard appeals 'chilling' $10.3 million Johnny Depp verdict
'Will have a chilling effect on other women who wish to speak about abuse involving powerful men.'
Amber Heard has filed an appeal asking the courts to reverse the defamation case finding against her or order a new trial, as her long-running dispute with ex-husband Johnny Depp shows no sign of ending.
"If not reversed, the trial court’s exclusion of contemporaneous reports of domestic abuse to medical professionals will make it more difficult for other abuse victims to prove allegations of abuse, and likely deter them from coming forward," Heard's filing to the Virginia courts reads.
The 36-year-old launched her appeal in November, arguing that the exclusion of some of her therapy notes, in which she reported being abused by Depp, resulted in an unfair trial. The notes were ruled out by Virginia Judge Penney Azcarate.
Depp was awarded $10.35million in June after his team successfully argued that Heard's 2018 Washington Post op-ed, in which she spoke about being a victim of abuse - but did not name Depp - was defamatory.
Heard was awarded $2 million in her countersuit, but Depp, 59, is now challenging that with his lawyers arguing the decision was "erroneous" and should be overturned. Heard is also taking legal action against an insurance company she thinks should pay out over the verdict.
In a 68-page document dated to late November, Heard's attorneys write that the court "improperly prevented the jury from considering several instances in which Heard reported Depp's abuse to a medical professional."
The document reads: "If not reversed, the trial court’s exclusion of contemporaneous reports of domestic abuse to medical professionals will make it more difficult for other abuse victims to prove allegations of abuse, and likely deter them from coming forward," they continued.
"That holding, if allowed to stand, undoubtedly will have a chilling effect on other women who wish to speak about abuse involving powerful men."
The filing states that the case "should never have gone to trial because another court had already concluded that Depp abused Heard on multiple occasions". A High Court in the UK earlier ruled that the Pirates of the Caribbean actor had abused his ex-wife.
Heard's legal team, which comprises a different set of lawyers than those who represented her during the trial, also argued that the trial, which took place in Fairfax, Virginia, should have taken place in California, where the once married couple lived together.
Both Depp and Heard will be able to challenge the rulings they are seeking further at the Supreme Court.
Read Heard's court filing here.