Amber Heard’s Lawyer Says Star Was ‘Demonized’ During ‘Zoo’-Like Trial, Planning Appeal
Elaine Bredehoft, who represented the Aquaman star, revealed that Heard will "absolutely" attempt to appeal the verdict that was reached earlier this week at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia.
Sitting down with the Today show, Bredehoft said that her client has "excellent grounds" for an appeal after a jury awarded roughly $15 million in damages to Depp and $2 million in damages to Heard. (Per Virginia's statutory cap, the presiding judge capped Depp's award to a total of $10.4 million.)
According to Bredehoft, Heard referred to the trial outcome a "setback for all women in and outside the courtroom."
Though Depp previously lost a similar libel case against The Sun tabloid, during which a judge ruled that "the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms. Heard by Mr. Depp have been proved to the civil standard," the jury found both parties guilty of defamation to varying degrees.
"We even had tried to get the U.K. judgment in to dismiss his case because he already had his shot. That’s one of the issues. But also ... there was so much evidence that did not come in," Bredehoft told host Savannah Guthrie.
Bredehoft also speculated that largely pro-Depp, anti-Heard discourse online, specifically on social media, may have helped sway the jury's opinion in the case. She insisted she was "against" cameras in the courtroom due to the sensitive nature of the case and that having cameras present "made it a zoo."
"[Heard] was demonized here," Bredehoft said. "A number of things were allowed in this court that should not have been allowed, and it caused the jury to be confused."
It is worth noting that the jury was not sequestered in this case.
"[The jury] went home every night. They have families. The families are on social media. We had a 10-day break in the middle because of the Judicial Conference. There’s no way they couldn’t have been influenced by it, and it was horrible. It really, really was lopsided," Bredehoft shared.
When asked if Heard will be able to pay the $10.4 million in damages awarded to Depp, Bredehoft replied, "Absolutely not."
The lawyer added that the trial outcome sends a "horrible message" that could have a negative effect on those who are abused.