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Johnny Depp, Amber Heard lawyers fail to reach last-minute settlement

Attorneys for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were unable to reach a last-minute settlement Friday, setting the stage for what could be a lengthy — and costly — appeals process.

Fairfax County, Virginia, Judge Penney Azcarate finalized the verdict in the former couple’s defamation trial during the hearing, at which Depp and Heard were not present.

A spokesperson for Heard, 36, signaled that the “Aquaman” actress plans to file an appeal.

“You don’t ask for a pardon if you are innocent. And, you don’t decline to appeal if you know you are right,” she said in a statement to The Post Friday.

After 21 days, the case will move to the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and then the parties will have 30 days to file a notice of appeal.

Under the judgment order that was entered into the docket Friday afternoon, Depp and Heard will be required to post their judgments of $2 million and $10.35 million, respectively, plus 6% interest per year.

A source familiar with the proceedings told The Post that the judge entered Depp’s version of the verdict on paper in its entirely, rejecting all of Heard’s proposed edits, and Depp’s legal team did not request an injunction against his ex-wife.

If Amber Heard decided to pursue an appeal, she would have to pay the entire judgment of $10.35 million against her as bond, plus $480,000 in interest.
REUTERS
Actor Amber Heard speaks with her legal team during a lunch break at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Va., Wednesday May 4, 2022.
The Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial is anticipated to go through a long appeals process.
Elizabeth Frantz/Pool Photo via AP

According to the source, the court also ruled that if Heard were to bring an appeal, she would have to post bond equal to the entire amount of the judgment, plus $480,000 in interest payments.

On June 1, a Virginia jury awarded Depp $15 million in damages — which was reduced to $10.35 million because of caps set by state law — after finding that Heard unfairly portrayed him as an abuser in a newspaper op-ed article, and in the process injured his reputation and career.

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While jurors ruled in favor of all three of Depp’s claims of defamation, they also found that the actor’s former attorney defamed Heard in one instance, and awarded her $2 million in damages as part of her countersuit.

Amber Heard insists Johnny Depp abused her during their messy relationship.
Amber Heard insists Johnny Depp abused her during their messy relationship.
Steve Granitz/WireImage
Amber Heard, Dateline interview on NBC
Amber Heard is reportedly “broke” following the heated defamation trial.
NBC

Earlier this month, Depp’s lawyer Benjamin Chew hinted during an interview on “Good Morning America” that the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star might be willing to forgo having his ex-wife pay him millions of dollars in damages if she agreed to not file an appeal.

“We obviously can’t disclose attorney-client communications, but as Mr. Depp testified … this was never about money for Mr. Depp,” Chew told George Stephanopoulos when asked about Heard’s fear of being left penniless.

“This was about restoring his reputation — and he’s done that,” Chew added.

Johnny Depp and his now famous attorney Camille Vasquez.
Johnny Depp and his now-famous attorney Camille Vasquez.
Shawn Thew/Pool via REUTERS

Elaine Bredehoft, one of Heard’s attorneys, told NBC’s “Today” that the “Aquaman” star could not afford the $8.35 million she owed Depp.

Sources told The Post in early June that the 36-year-old actress is “broke” due to massive legal fees associated with the six-week trial.

When asked if the actress had the means to cover the judgment handed down by the jury, Bredehoft said, “Oh no, absolutely not.”

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