During a settlement hearing on Friday in the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard defamation trial, the presiding judge finalized the verdict handed down by the jury on June 1.
In a hearing on Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. local time, attorneys for Johnny Depp and for Amber Heard met in a Fairfax County, Virginia, courthouse where the judgment in the case would be decided with finality. When the verdict was originally delivered by the jury on June 1, Judge Penney Azcarate said she would refrain from recording the verdict on the docket and set a hearing for Friday, giving both parties time to come to a settlement if they so chose to.
At the time of the hearing, however, no settlement agreement was presented, so the judge recorded the verdict as final on the court docket.
But a representative for Amber Heard spoke as though the actress plans to appeal the verdict.
“As stated in yesterday’s congressional hearings, you don’t ask for a pardon if you are innocent,” said a representative for Heard. “And you don’t decline to appeal if you know you are right.”
The statement made reference to Republican members of Congress asking for pardons amid their attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 U. S. presidential election.
In the verdict delivered by the jury on June 1, both Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were found to have defamed each other. Depp won on all three of his claims against Heard, while Heard was only awarded damages on one of her claims.
The jury awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages to Johnny Depp. Amber Heard was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages and zero in punitive damages. But because of statutory guidelines in the state of Virginia, Depp’s punitive damages award was reduced to $350,000, as the state sets the cap at that amount.
Neither Johnny Depp nor Amber Heard was in attendance in court on Friday. Because Depp and Heard did not come to an alternate settlement agreement, the verdict now stands as it was delivered in court by the jury on June 1. At the hearing Friday, Judge Azcarate entered the jury verdict into the docket, making it official. Additionally, Judge Azcarate’s order states that the amount owed by each party is subject to an annual interest rate of 6%, in keeping with Virginia law.
In #JohnnyDepp v. #AmberHeard, judgement entered. Judge Azcarate was no nonsense as usual. No request for an injunction by JD team (I didn't expect that at all). Also, AH will have to post settlement plus 6% interest / year bond to appeal. More soon @LawCrimeNetwork
— Angenette Levy (@Angenette5) June 24, 2022
Amber Heard has 30 days during which to file a notice of appeal for the case. If she fails to do so, the judgment and order will stay as entered on the docket. Should Heard file an appeal, the legal battle between the ex-couple could play out for a few more years.