Amber Heard is reportedly ‘broke’ due to mounting legal fees associated with the bombshell defamation trial and can’t pay her ex-husband, Johnny Depp more than $10 million in damages.
The high-profile televised court battle ended this week when a seven-person jury found that Depp and Heard had defamed each other, but ruled in favour of Depp.
The jury, after a six-week trial featuring claims and counterclaims of domestic abuse, awarded him $10.35 million in damages, in contrast with $2 million awarded to Heard.
Asked on NBC’s TODAY show if Heard will be able to pay up, her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft said: “Oh no, absolutely not.”
She added that the Aquaman star will appeal the verdict and “has some excellent grounds for it”.
Heard’s net worth has been estimated at between $1.5 and $2.5 million as of Thursday, according to the Celebrity Net Worth site and other outlets, a far cry from what she now owes Depp in the wake of the jury’s ruling.
But sources told The New York Post the actress is “broke” due to hefty legal fees associated with the bombshell defamation trial.
The high-profile court battle with her ex-husband has left the 36-year-old actress hurting for cash, according to sources, including one who also placed the blame on Heard’s past lavish spending, on travel, clothes, gifts and wine.
Multiple sources said the “Aquaman” star had to switch legal representation and is now relying on her homeowners insurance policy to cover the cost of her current lawyers in the case.
The bill for Heard’s lawyer has mostly been footed by The Travelers Companies under terms of the actress’ insurance policy, sources said.
A vice president of the insurance firm, Pamela Johnson, was spotted in the Fairfax, Virginia court with Heard multiple times throughout her trial. Neither Johnson nor Travelers returned calls from The Post.
The 58-year-old Depp, who lost a libel case against the British tabloid The Sun in London in 2020 for calling him a “wife-beater,” celebrated the split verdict in the case as a victory while Heard said she was “heartbroken”.
Depp sued Heard over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse”.
The Texas-born Heard did not name Depp in the piece, but he sued her for implying he was a domestic abuser and sought $50 million in damages.
The 36-year-old Heard countersued for $100 million, saying she was defamed by statements made by Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, who told the Daily Mail her abuse claims were a “hoax”.
Bredehoft said Depp’s legal team worked to “demonise” Heard and suppressed crucial evidence in the trial, preventing the jurors from examining evidence of Depp’s alleged abuse.
“A number of things were allowed in this court that should not have been allowed, and it caused the jury to be confused,” she said.
“We had an enormous amount of evidence that was suppressed in this case that was in the UK case,” she said.
“In the UK case when it came in, Amber won, Mr. Depp lost.”
The lawyer said the ruling bodes ill for the MeToo movement and will discourage women from reporting sexual harassment and abuse.
“It’s a horrible message,” Bredehoft said. “It’s a significant setback, because that’s exactly what it means.
“Unless you pull out your phone and you video your spouse or your significant other beating you, effectively you won’t be believed.”
Bredehoft was asked by TODAY about Heard’s immediate reaction to the verdict in the trial, which took place in Fairfax County Circuit Court near the US capital.
“One of the first things she said is that, ‘I am so sorry to all those women out there’,” she said. “This is a setback for all women in and outside the courtroom, and she feels the burden of that.”
In a statement, Heard said “the disappointment I feel today is beyond words”.
“I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband,” she said.
For his part, Depp welcomed the verdict, saying “The jury gave me my life back”. “The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun,” Depp said in a statement.