Johnny Depp’s lawyers don’t seem to be ruling out a legal strategy that could mean his ex-wife Amber Heard won’t have to pay the $8 million judgment in the conclusion of his defamation case against her. The jury trial deemed Depp the victor but Heard, via her lawyer, has indicated that she doesn’t have the money to pay the massive settlement. A divorce lawyer reached out to us with some insight into why Depp’s legal team may have offered Heard’s team the chance to forgo paying up, as long as they make a major concession.
Possible New Legal Strategy In Johnny Depp, Amber Heard Defamation Case?
Amber Heard has been ordered to pay her ex-husband Johnny Depp $8 million after a jury ruled in the Pirates Of The Caribbean actor’s favor in his defamation trial against her. In the aftermath of the trial, Heard’s lawyer has said the Aquaman actress is unable to pay the multi-million dollar figure, which may lead to an interesting legal solution for Depp’s legal team.
During a recent interview with Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos, Depp’s lawyers fielded questions about the outcome of the case, as well as what the team’s next steps may be. Stephanopoulos began, “Heard’s lawyer says she plans to appeal the verdict, she doesn’t have the money to pay for the judgment and you all have said that the goal was not to impoverish Ms. Heard.”
‘GMA’ Interview With Depp’s Lawyers
The GMA anchor continued, “Is it possible that we could see a settlement where she foregoes the appeal in return for Mr. Depp waving any monetary damages?”
Camille Vasquez and Ben Chew, Depp’s lawyers, were clearly reluctant to share specific details about the ongoing legal negotiations. “Well George, we obviously can’t disclose attorney-client communications,” Chew answered, adding, “but as Mr. Depp testified and as we both made clear in our respective closings, this was never about money for Mr. Depp. So this was about restoring his reputation and he’s done that.”
Stephanopoulos pushed for more information, asking, “So you’re not disclosing any privileges, but it sounds like that’s something that could be on the table but it’s up to Ms. Heard?” To which Chew reiterated, “Again, we have to be careful what we say, but this was about Mr. Depp’s reputation. That was what it was about for him.”
Watch A Portion Of The Interview Below
As there are clearly still negotiations going on behind the scenes that Depp’s legal team can’t speak on at the moment, it’s clear that what Stephanopoulos suggested isn’t necessarily the direction this case may go in. There are, however, plenty of reasons for Depp’s lawyers to seriously consider it as an option, one legal professional claims.
Legal Expert Weighs In
Chicago family lawyer Raiford Palmer, author of the book I Just Want This Done, offered commentary on the possible benefits of offering not to pursue the $8 million in damages as long as Heard doesn’t appeal the case. According to Palmer, the strategy “uses a cost-benefit analysis.”
“For Depp, the offer allows him to look magnanimous at a moment when he has the upper hand, which would further his aim of rehabilitating his public image,” Palmer continued. As Depp and his lawyers have continued to insist, this case was “never about the money,” and always about the damage done to his reputation.
Though Palmer stressed that it’s “unlikely” that an appeal from Heard would be successful, he did note that avoiding the process would “also spare him from the risk that an appeal could undo his win.” In conclusion, Palmer said, “Being charitable isn’t just a nice thing to do. It’s also an effective strategy.” We will continue to monitor this case as new developments arise.