Lawyers for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard face each other again in court.
They have one last chance to reach a settlement before the judge finalizes his jury verdict.
A Depp lawyer previously hinted that a settlement may be on the table after Heard’s lawyer said she could not pay the $8 million owed.
On Friday, the lawyers for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard will face each other again in a court meeting that will determine whether the two actors will continue their legal battle or settle once and for all.
On June 1 a jury has pronounced a trial verdict who discovered that they were slandering each other. It skewed heavily in Depp’s favor. Of his three claims against Heard, the jury said he proved them all and earned $15 million in damages (a figure) the judge reduced for legal reasons† Of Heard’s three claims against Depp, the judges gave her only one win and said she should be awarded $2 million in damages.
But Judge Penney Azcarate, the judge who oversaw the trial, did not include the jury verdict in the role.
Instead, she said she would do it on Friday, June 24, unless the two sides reached a settlement.
Benjamin Chew, an attorney representing Depp, suggested a settlement may be on the table. In an interview with “Good Morning America” host George StephanopoulosChew said Depp could agree to a settlement where he waives monetary damages in exchange for Heard agreeing not to appeal the case.
“We obviously cannot release attorney-client communication, but as Mr. Depp testified and as we both made clear in our respective closings, this was never about money for Mr. Depp,” Chew said. “This was about restoring his reputation, and he did.”
Elaine Bredehoft, a lawyer representing Heard, told NBC’s “Today” show Heard couldn’t pay the $8 million she’d owe Depp and that she intended to appeal the case. In a separate interview with the show “Today”, Heard said she stands by her testimony in the libel process.
A settlement can take a different form. The parties may agree to waive some of the defamation claims, reduce or eliminate damages owed, or streamline the payment process by making Heard Depp pay $8.35 million, in lieu of to make her pay the $10.35 million she owes Depp, and for Depp to pay $2 million to Heard in a separate transaction.
Representatives from both Depp and Heard declined to comment on the settlement negotiations.
Depp sued Heard in March 2019, alleging that she defamed him by publishing a Washington Post op-ed describing herself as a victim of domestic violence. Heard sued, alleging that Depp abused her before and during their marriage, which ended in 2016, and that he defamed him through statements from his attorney calling her claims a “hoax.” Both celebrities testified at their six-week trial at the Fairfax County, Virginia courthouse.
At the Friday hearing at 11 a.m., Azcarate can also accept oral arguments from both sides about the jury verdict. Depp and Heard do not need to be in court in person during the hearing, Azcarate’s court clerk Samy Abdallah told Insider.
If the two disagree with a settlement and Azcarate makes it to the jury verdict, then the case will be moved to the Virginia Court of Appeals after 21 days, Abdallah told Insider. The parties then have 30 days to file an appeal.
Read the original article Insider