Lawyers for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are back in court.
They have one last chance to reach an agreement before the judge delivers a final verdict to the jury.
Depp’s lawyer had previously hinted that a settlement could be considered after Heard’s lawyer said she was unable to pay the $8 million owed.
On Friday, lawyers for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard will meet again in a court hearing that will determine whether the two actors will drag out the legal battle or settle it once and for all.
June 1st the jury rendered a verdict that they discovered that they were slandering each other. This greatly skewed in favor of Depp. The jury said that of his three lawsuits against Heard, he proved everything and deserved compensation in the amount of $15 million (figure judge reduced for legal reasons). Of Hurd’s three lawsuits against Depp, the jury gave her only one win and said she should receive $2 million in damages.
But Judge Penny Azkarat, the judge who oversaw the trial, did not include the jury’s verdict on the record.
Instead, she said she would do so on Friday, June 24, unless both sides agreed to a settlement.
Benjamin Chu, a lawyer representing Depp, suggested a settlement could be on the table. In an interview with Good Morning America host George StephanopoulosChu said that Depp could agree to a settlement in which he would waive monetary damages in exchange for Hurd agreeing not to appeal.
“Obviously we cannot disclose any attorney-client communications, but as Mr. Depp testified and as both of us made clear in our respective opinions, there was never any money for Mr. Depp,” he said. Chu. “It was about restoring his reputation, and he did it.”
Elaine Bredehoff, attorney representing Heard, told NBC on The Today Show that Heard can’t afford the $8 million she owes Depp. and that she planned to appeal the case. In a separate interview with the program “Today” Heard she back her testimony in libel proceedings.
The settlement may take another form. The parties can agree to exclude certain defamation claims from the judgment, reduce or eliminate damages owed, or simplify the payment process by having Heard pay Depp $8.35 million instead of her paying the $10.35 million she owes Depp, and for Depp. pay Heard $2 million in a separate transaction.
Representatives for Depp and Heard declined to comment on the settlement talks.
Depp sued Heard in March 2019, alleging that she slandered him by publishing an article in the Washington Post in which she described herself as a victim of domestic violence. Hurd filed a countersuit alleging that Depp abused her before and during their marriage, which ended in 2016, and that he slandered him with statements from his lawyer, calling her claims a “hoax”. Both celebrities testified at the six-week trial at the Fairfax County Courthouse, Virginia.
At Friday’s 11:00 am hearing, Azcarate may also accept oral arguments from each side on the jury’s verdict. Depp and Hurd are not required to be in the courtroom during the hearing, Azcarate secretary Sami Abdallah told Insider.
If the two do not agree to a settlement and Azkarat issues a jury verdict, then the case will go to the Virginia Court of Appeals in 21 days, Abdallah told Insider. At this point, the parties have 30 days to file a notice of appeal.
Read the original article on insider