Johnny Depp recently won his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard, who is expected to pay the actor $15 million. Heard is expected to fight back against the judgment by filing an appeal. But although she lost the case, an experienced attorney revealed there are other ways Heard might be able to avoid paying Depp.
Why Johnny Depp’s victory was considered tremendous
Although the court of public opinion may have appeared to be on Depp’s side, Depp had many hurdles to overcome to claim victory. Legal analyst Joey Jackson shared Depp’s lawsuit could’ve faced significant pushback due to the First Amendment.
“What he had to overcome was a First Amendment issue which is that we all have the right to express our thoughts and opinions. What they (the jurors) said was that, yeah, you do have a First Amendment right unless you say something that is false that injures someone’s reputation and causes damages to them in their industry,” Jackson said according to CNN.
On a personal level, Depp alleged that winning the case would help the actor move forward with his life. It wasn’t as much about money as it was about having his truth come out.
“From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me,” he said in a statement after the verdict. “I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that.”
How Amber Heard might be able to avoid paying Johnny Depp
Although Depp came out of the case as the winner, it might still be some ways to go before he’s paid. A spokesperson for Heard, David Shane, claimed that Heard planned to appeal the verdict. It was a move that experienced attorney Kenneth Belkin predicted when he spoke to Fox. Minutes before the verdict was delivered, Belkin thought the losing party would file an appeal.
He also explained that if the losing party decided against paying the winner, a judgment would need to be enforced.
“Meaning, let’s say for example if Johnny Depp wins against Amber Heard. And let’s say he wins $10 million, and she doesn’t pay him that $10 million, what he would be able to do is take that judgment and, to enforce it, he could go after her bank accounts. He could put liens on assets that she owns,” he said.
However, there was also the possibility that Heard could avoid even paying Depp after a judgment was enforced.
“But sometimes people can evade judgments. You look at OJ Simpson, he won the criminal case, but he lost the wrongful death case – the civil case. And there was a very substantial judgment against him,” Belkin continued.
He pointed out that Simpson moved to Florida as an example of someone avoiding judgment.
“And in Florida, if you have a home in Florida, that home is immune from judgments if it is your primary home due to the homestead act. So there are things that savvy lawyers and individuals can do to evade having to pay judgments,” he added.
Because of the “acrimony” involved in the case, Belkin predicted the losing party of the defamation trial would try to avoid paying anything to the winner.
Amber Heard’s lawyer claims the actor can’t pay Johnny Depp
Amber Heard’s lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, recently stopped by the Today show to discuss the trial. In her opinion, the trial was unfair, as she believed the media influenced the jury’s decision.
“A number of things were allowed in this court that should not have been allowed, and it caused the jury to be confused,” Bredehoft said.
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