What if Amber Heard Can’t Pay Johnny Depp Damages? Verdict Defined


Since their verdict was introduced, many have questioned what’s going to occur if Amber Heard can’t pay Johnny Depp’s $10.35 million in damages and the way a lot cash she has now.

Depp and Heard had been married from 2015 to 2016. Heard filed for divorce in Might 2016 after 15 months of marriage. In her divorce submitting, she additionally obtained a brief restraining order towards Depp, claiming that he abused her whereas beneath the affect of medication and alcohol. Depp denied the accusations, and a $7 million settlement was reached out of court docket in August 2016. Heard pledged to donate the cash to the ACLU and the Kids’s Hospital of Los Angeles. “Our relationship was intensely passionate and at instances unstable, however all the time sure by love. Neither celebration has made false accusations for monetary acquire. There was by no means any intent of bodily or emotional hurt,” the 2 help in a joint assertion on the time.

In 2018, Heard wrote an op-ed in The Washington Publish about her expertise with home abuse. Whereas she didn’t point out Depp by title, many believed that the submit was about her ex-husband. Depp sued Heard for $50 million for defamation in 2019, claiming that the op-ed price him appearing jobs, together with his roles in Walt Disney Footage’ Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and Warner Bros. Footage’ Implausible Beasts collection. Heard, for her half, countersued Depp for $100 million.

The trial for the case began in April 2022 and concluded in June 2022, the place a seven-person jury consisting of 5 males and two ladies discovered Heard liable of all three counts of defamation in her lawsuit with Depp. The jury ordered Heard to pay Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages for a complete of $15 million. Depp, for his half, was discovered responsible of 1 rely of defamation towards Heard by the jury and was ordered to pay her $2 million in compensatory damages and nil {dollars} in punitive damages for a complete of $2 million. As a result of cap on punitive damages beneath Virginia state regulation, Decide Penney Azcarate lowered Heard’s punitive damages from $5 million to $350,000. If Heard and Depp’s damages are netted towards one another, Heard must pay Depp a complete of $8.35 million in damages, accounting for the $2 million in compensatory damages he owes her.

So what occurs if Amber Heard can’t pay Johnny Depp’s damages and the way a lot cash does she have? Learn on for what Johnny Depp’s choices are if Amber Heard can’t pay him, and what occurs now.

Picture: AP Photograph/Steve Helber.

What occurs if Amber Heard can’t pay Johnny Depp’s damages?

What occurs if Amber Heard can’t pay Johnny Depp’s damages? Heard’s lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, instructed Right this moment on June 2, 2022, that her shopper can “completely not” afford to pay Depp the $10.35 million she owes Depp in damages. “Oh no. Completely not, “Bredehoft mentioned when requested if Heard has the cash to afford Depp’s damages.

A supply instructed The New York Publish on the time that Heard is “broke” because of authorized charges and her previous lavish spending on journey, garments, presents and wine. The newspaper additionally reported that Heard needed to change authorized illustration in the course of the trial and is utilizing her home-owner’s insurance coverage from the insurance coverage agency The Vacationers Firms to cowl the price of her present attorneys. Pamela Johnson, the vice chairman of The Vacationers Firms, has additionally been seen with Heard in court docket in Fairfax, Virginia, a number of instances for the reason that trial began in April 2022. Heather Heidelbaugh, a Pennsylvania-based trial legal professional, instructed The New York Publish that it’s not unusual for defendants to make use of home-owner’s insurance coverage insurance policies in defamation circumstances. “It’s somewhat oddity that most individuals don’t know. In most home-owner insurance coverage insurance policies, there may be protection if you’re sued for defamation based mostly on how a lot you pay by means of protection, ”she mentioned.

Virginia-based lawyer, Jeremiah Denton, defined to The New York Publish that, whereas most insurance coverage firms pays for the defendant’s legal professional, most insurance policies have a clause that judgement prices—such because the $10.35 million Heard owes Depp—is not going to be coated. “The insurance coverage firm will maintain in its again pocket the choice of denying protection on the finish of the day — denying protection means refusing to pay the plaintiff, on this case Mr. Depp,” Denton mentioned.

He continued, “Numerous insurance coverage insurance policies present protection for defamation however they’ve an exclusion in, which says ‘We is not going to cowl any intentional wrongdoing.’ To be able to win a defamation case towards a public determine, it’s important to present intentional wrongdoing. Typically what it requires to get the judgment kicks you out of the coverage that will pay for the judgment. That’s the dilemma.”

So what occurs if Amber Heard can’t pay Johnny Depp’s damages? Virginia-based appellate lawyer Steven Emmert instructed The New York Publish that a method Depp may accumulate his damages could be to gather wages on her upcoming motion pictures, Run Away With Me and Within the Fireplace, in addition to seize her dwelling in Yucca Valley, California. Heard bought the three-bedroom, three-bathroom dwelling in 2019 for $570,000 beneath a personal belief within the title of her accountant, in accordance with The New York Publish. The house is presently valued at $1 million.

“If she doesn’t have the cash, then his avenue, whereas she’s pursuing an enchantment, is to attempt to execute on property she owns,” Emmert mentioned, including that Depp may additionally serve her with a summons “the place you summon the debtor to come back to a court docket and his lawyer would get to ask her questions saying ‘What property do you personal, what actual property do you personal, what autos do you personal, what jewellery do you personal, what artwork collections’ — the rest that they may use to seize and promote at public sale to attempt to pay down and repay, finally, this judgment.”

Denton instructed The New York Publish that, if Heard doesn’t pay the damages, Depp “can institute assortment proceedings so he can garnish [Heard’s] pay, if she has a wage or wage-type earnings.” He continued, “He can connect her belongings which principally means seize them. He can get to her belongings, promote them and take money.” Lawyer Brett Turnbull, a founding associate at Turnbull Holcomb & Lemoine, instructed The New York Publish that judgements in Virginia are good for 10 years and might be prolonged. [Heard] could possibly be topic to this judgment for as much as 30 years. If she out of the blue had a brand new infusion of cash — that may be found by [Depp] and pursued,” he mentioned.

On condition that Heard is price $8 million, in accordance with Celeb Internet Price, it’s potential that she might be able to instantly afford to pay Depp the whole $10.35 million in damages. “Depp would have a cash judgment towards Amber which he may accumulate on by levying towards most of her belongings (not her dwelling if she has homesteaded it). Whether or not she may declare chapter for a big portion of the decision would largely rely upon what belongings and liabilities she has,” Stacy Phillips, a household regulation and divorce legal professional and associate at Clean Rome LLP, defined to StyleCaster.

Mark Breyer, an Arizona-based trial and private harm lawyer, defined in a TikTok previous to Heard and Depp’s verdict that Heard could must file for chapter if she can’t pay the damages she owes Depp. “You may’t get blood from a turnip,” Breyer mentioned. “That’s the truth. We don’t have debtors jail anymore. So what’s going to occur is he [Depp] may go in any case the cash she had, she would most likely file for chapter, however sure issues could be protected in chapter. However the actuality is that’s the issue with legal guidelines the place folks aren’t required to have insurance coverage.”

Legal professional Sandra Spurgeon of Spurgeon Regulation Group in Lexington, Kentucky, instructed CBS Information after the decision that it’s a severe deal if Heard can’t pay Depp the damages she owes him. “For a person who doesn’t have the flexibility to pay the judgment and no skill to submit the bond, then there’s a actual challenge if the profitable celebration intends to execute the judgment,” Spurgeon mentioned. Spurgeon instructed CBS Information that she predicts that Heard’s legal professionals will attempt to enchantment the decision in hopes of a extra favorable judgement and to scale back the cost. An alternative choice is for Heard to submit a bond for the $10.35 million in damages, which is probably not possible.

“The query is that if she says, ‘Look, I don’t have it. It’s not there — you’ll be able to look in my financial institution accounts,’ then we are able to speak about issues like garnishing her wages,” mentioned CBS Information authorized contributor Jessica Levinson instructed the location. “That’s not an uncommon scenario the place any person says, ‘I don’t have — I can’t fulfill this,’ and so I actually suppose as a result of she has incomes potential, a part of her wages could possibly be garnished because of this.” CBS Information defined that if Heard was to file for chapter, that may solely remove the $10 million in compensatory damages, however she’d nonetheless must pay the $350,000 in punitive damages, which usually can’t be discharged in a chapter. Spurgeon additionally famous that Depp may select to not execute the judgement and waive the financial damages which might free Heard from her monetary obligations. “He’s within the driver’s seat proper now,” she mentioned.

When you or somebody is experiencing home violence, assist is on the market. Name the Nationwide Home Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) for confidential help.

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