Johnny Depp Trial: Amber Heard Hires New Counsel For Her ‘Confident’ Appeal

Johnny Depp seemingly walked away from his Virginia defamation trial with the upper hand in the legal fight against his ex-wife Amber Heard. But she claimed the jury got their verdict wrong and filed an appeal, which he followed with his own. Now, she’s hired a new “confident” counsel to take the place of one of her most notable attorneys.

Johnny Depp (R) and Amber Heard (L) have both filed appeals to the verdict in their defamation trial
(L) Elaine Bredehoft and Amber Heard (R) Johnny Depp | Steve Helber/POOL/AFP/Getty Images

Amber Heard owes Johnny Depp more than $10 million

During the weeks of their highly publicized defamation trial, Depp and Heard laid out their cases against one another. Depp sued Heard for $50 million, and she countersued for $100 million. He claimed she lied about domestic violence he allegedly perpetrated on her and damaged his career in doing so. Furthermore, he accused her of being the abusive partner in their marriage while asserting his own innocence.

Meanwhile, Heard maintained that Depp was abusive throughout their relationship. Even though she never named him in The Washington Post op-ed at the heart of his case against her, she defended her word in court. She said that the essay she wrote with help from the ACLU was about Depp in part and contended it only scratched the surface of what she endured.

In the end, the jury decided that each had defamed the other to some extent, but they found Heard was in the wrong in all three claims against her. She was ordered to pay more than $10 million in damages, which was reduced from $15 million due to a cap on punitive awards in the state.

Meanwhile, Depp owes Heard $2 million for one statement the jury found defamatory of three of her claims.

Amber Heard has new counsel for her appeal and Elaine Bredehoft will step down

One of the attorneys at Heard’s side throughout the trial was Elaine Bredehoft. She made a name for herself by sparring with opposing counsel and witnesses, even accusing a former TMZ employee of chasing fame while she was cross-examining.

Since receiving the verdict, Heard has maintained that the outcome did not serve the interests of justice, and she filed an appeal. And Bredehoft is now stepping down to make way for new counsel to handle the upcoming processes.

Per Deadline, Heard’s new attorneys released a statement reading, “We’re confident the appellate court will apply the law properly without deference to popularity, reverse the judgment against Ms. Heard, and reaffirm the fundamental principles of Freedom of Speech.”

Johnny Depp also appealed the judgment against him

After Heard filed for an appeal, Depp did the same. His attorney, Camille Vasquez, explained the decision during an interview with Gayle King on CBS Mornings

“Mr. Depp ended up filing his own appeal, so that the court could have the full record,” she explained. “… [Heard] insists on continuing to litigate this matter, and we have to protect our client’s interest.”

“… As his representative, we have to respond to the appeal with his own appeal,” Vasquez added, noting the trial “was never about money” for Depp.

How to get help: In the U.S., call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or text START to 88788.

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