Johnny Depp lawsuit verdict: Can Amber Heard pay $8.35m in damages?

Amber Heard was guilty of defaming Johnny Depp after jury determined Washington Post As a victim of domestic abuse, she was ordered to pay millions of dollars in damages to her ex-husband.

Soon after the trial ended, however, Ms. Heard’s attorney appeared on the morning talk show to say that her client would be unable to pay the $8.35 million in damages.pirates of the caribbean Star.

“Dhatre’s. Absolutely not,” said attorney Ellen Breedhoft when asked by anchor Savannah Guthrie today Show if his client can pay Mr. Depp a large sum of money.

Mr Depp won defamation case he brought against his ex-wife In all three senses. He was awarded $10m in compensatory fees and $5m in punitive damages related to lost career opportunities. Judge Penny Azkart later reduced the punitive damages to $350,000, the maximum allowed in the state of Virginia, where the trial took place.

For her part, Ms Hurd was awarded $2m in damages for one of her three counterclaims. This left him owed Mr Depp a total of $8.35m.

While Ms. Hurd’s financial situation is unclear, Ms. Breedhoft revealed during the trial’s closing arguments that her client alone racked up more than $6 million in legal costs.

In 2016, 36 years old RReceived $7m in a settlement When the pair got divorced from Mr. Depp. He previously stated that those funds were intended to be divided equally as donations to the American Civil Liberties Union and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

However, during the high-stakes trial, it was revealed video proof Mr. Depp’s lawyers submitted that Mrs. Heard has not yet fulfilled that promise. The actress said under cross-examination that she “fully intends” to honor her vow.

“I want her to stop suing me so I can,” Ms. Hurd told Fairfax County District Court.

In trial evidence it was revealed that Ms. Heard’s acting career has been interrupted by the high-profile defamation case, newsweek informed of.

Along with interview statements following Ms. Breedhoft’s decision, it has given rise to speculation as to whether Ms. Hurd will be able to keep the costly damages bill and, if she cannot, what legal recourse she may have.

Although she did not address any financial stress in her post-trial statement, Ms Hurd admitted to a deep “heartbreak” at the jury’s decision.

“The despair I feel today is beyond words,” wrote Ms. Hurd. “I am saddened that the mountain of evidence was still not enough to withstand the disproportionate power, influence and sway of my ex-husband.”

The possible avenues Ms. Heard could take to avoid paying millions of dollars are not straightforward, and could result in even higher legal fees. CBS,

Appealing the decision is one way Ms Heard could try to avoid paying the $8.35m. his lawyer toldtoday Show that his legal team is pursuing this option.

“Absolutely,” said Ms. Breedhoft on an appeal question. “And he has some excellent grounds for that.”

Should Ms. Hurd take this route, she may still need to post the bond for damages – as well as interest – as the appeals make their way through the court, according to CBS’s Moneywatch,

If Ms. Heard decides not to pursue the appeal, and is still unable to pay damages, it could trigger a pay increase – which allows a judge to earn a certain amount or order a check to be paid. gives, and is remitted to a creditor.

Under Virginia law, Mr. Depp would need a court decision before the pay increase could be enforced. There are limits to the measure, with regulations varying by state. According to the legal site, in Virginia, “a creditor can charge less than 25 percent of your disposable income or 40 times your disposable income above the federal minimum wage”. nolois.com,

A third option is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy but that path is also uncertain.

Bruce Merkel, Professor of Bankruptcy Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law law and crime That due to the nature of Ms. Hurd’s case, she could not be released from her payments by filing for bankruptcy. Defamation is considered a deliberate tort, meaning that the misconduct was committed with malice or will.

“What separates Heard’s case from regular torture cases is the discovery of intent,” he told the news outlet. “Bankruptcy law does not allow most willful torts (battery, assault, etc.) to be discharged. Defamation fits because of essential findings of malice or intent to injure another.”

One last possible relief for Ms. Hurd is one over which she has no control: but must be initiated by Mr. Depp.

The actor can decide to waive the monetary damages or, if Ms. Heard decides to launch an appeal, leave the amount in negotiations.

It is not clear whether either party will take this route. However, Mr Depp insisted in a post-judgment statement that his “goal” in bringing the defamation suit was to “reveal the truth regardless of the outcome”.

He wrote on Instagram, “Speaking the truth was something I did for my kids and all those who have stood firm in my support.”

“I feel at peace knowing that I’ve finally got it done.”

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