Johnny Depp may refuse to pay damages for defamation of Amber Heard

Johnny Depp’s victory over Amber Heard in a defamation trial came as a shock to some, and his next move was even more unexpected.

Johnny Depp’s lawyers have hinted that the Hollywood superstar may not be getting his $10.4 million payout from ex-wife Amber Heard, insisting he’s satisfied with his “total victory” that finally cleared his name.

“Obviously we can’t disclose attorney-client communications, but as Mr. Depp has shown… it was never about money for Mr. Depp,” star Ben Chu’s lawyer told Good Morning America ( GMA) when asked about Heard’s fear of being left in poverty.

“It was about restoring his reputation—and he did it,” Mr. Chu said carefully.

“It was a complete win for Johnny,” he said.

In a separate live interview on Wednesday’s America’s Today show, Mr. Chu also dismissed the possibility that the actress would ever reverse the decision. New York Post reported.

“We are very confident that there are no mistakes that would justify any successful appeal,” he said.

Fellow lawyer Camilla Vazquez, an avid lawyer who has become a celebrity in her own right and was promoted to partner at her law firm this week, called it “disappointing” that Heard’s team called the victory a blow to women’s rights and the #MeToo movement.

She said the actress was confused that they “used her words against her.”

“The key to winning was focusing on facts and evidence and Johnny’s ability to tell the truth for the first time,” she told GMA, calling it “six years of preparation.”

“Every question asked was related to something she had said earlier.

“And I think the jury needs to see, the world needs to see and hear from Ms Heard” the truth about the couple’s toxic relationship.

“We believe the evidence speaks for itself. … Based on these facts, the jury made a unanimous decision,” she said.

“We call on all victims to come forward, domestic violence has no gender,” she said of the evidence presented showing that Depp was also assaulted.

The couple dismissed suggestions that social media unfairly affected the seven Virginia jurors. Mr. Chu also said today that it was “totally absurd and baseless” to suggest that the overwhelming support Depp received online was part of an organized campaign.

Asked directly whether the actor’s team helped encourage support or even paid for it, Ms. Vasquez replied that such claims are “categorically false.”

Instead, Depp captivated fans and ultimately the jury with his “responsibility” for his toxic marriage, Mr. Chu said on the NBC News show.

“Johnny owned his problems. He was very frank about his problems with alcohol and drugs. He was candid about some of the bad lyrics he wrote,” the lawyer said.

“And I think it was a stark contrast to Ms. Heard, who… took no responsibility for anything.”

Ms. Vasquez said the victory gave Depp “an overwhelming sense of relief.”

“I was talking to another friend of ours, a mutual friend of mine and Johnny, and he said, ‘I haven’t seen Johnny smile like that in six years.’

Mr. Chu also said that the actor was “over the moon” about the decision. “The whole weight of the world has been lifted from his shoulders. He got his life back,” he said, echoing the star’s own earlier statement.

Meanwhile, Ms. Vasquez also mentioned her unexpected notoriety thanks to her high-profile lawsuit.

“It was surreal and, to be honest, a little overwhelming,” she told GMA.

“But if I can be an inspiration to young women who want to go to law school and study and work hard, then it was worth it,” she said.

Depp won a high-profile defamation suit after seven jurors found in his favor that Heard’s Washington Post article about becoming a “domestic abuse public figure” tarnished his reputation and hurt his career.

The actor, who was too busy playing with legendary guitarist Jeff Beck to be in court to hear that he won his case, said right after the win that being able to tell the truth left him “calm”.

“False, very serious and criminal charges were brought against me … And after six years, the jury gave me back my life. I’m really humiliated,” he said at the time.

Hurd’s team, however, had already expressed disdain for the lawyers’ planned attack on the media this week before what they said was aired.

“It is as indecent as it is unprofessional that Johnny Depp’s legal team decided to take a lap of honor by setting back decades the way women were treated in the courtroom,” Hurd’s spokeswoman said in a statement.

“What’s next? Film deal and merchandising?

The attack came despite the fact that Heard’s own lawyer, Elaine Bredehoff, had already given interviews to some of the same outlets the morning after the loss, blaming the Depp team’s approach to “demonizing Amber and hiding evidence.”

On Wednesday, Mr Chu said his rival’s allegations were “very disappointing.”

“There was evidence that had to be presented, and the judge was very fair to both parties,” he insisted.

Heard’s team also lashed out at her ex-husband for taking on TikTok and yelling about the wide support he received.

“As Johnny Depp says he is ‘moving forward’, women’s rights are moving backwards,” Heard’s rep said in a statement.

“The message of the verdict to victims of domestic violence is… to be afraid to stand up and speak out.”

The Washington Post has since added a lengthy editor’s note to Hurd’s article to emphasize that it was found to be defamatory.

This story was originally published New York Post and reproduced here with permission.

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