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


Since their verdict was introduced, many have puzzled what is 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 have 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 short lived restraining order in opposition to 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 Youngsters’s Hospital of Los Angeles. “Our relationship was intensely passionate and at instances risky, however at all times sure by love. Neither social gathering 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 Submit about her expertise with home abuse. Whereas she didn’t point out Depp by identify, many believed that the put up was about her ex-husband. Depp sued Heard for $50 million for defamation in 2019, claiming that the op-ed value him appearing jobs, together with his roles in Walt Disney Footage’ Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and Warner Bros. Footage’ Improbable Beasts sequence. 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 girls 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 depend of defamation in opposition to 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 in opposition to 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, advised At this time 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 stated when requested if Heard has the cash to afford Depp’s damages.

A supply advised The New York Submit on the time that Heard is “broke” on account 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 because the trial began in April 2022. Heather Heidelbaugh, a Pennsylvania-based trial lawyer, advised The New York Submit that it’s not unusual for defendants to make use of home-owner’s insurance coverage insurance policies in defamation circumstances. “It’s just a little oddity that most individuals don’t know. In most home-owner insurance coverage insurance policies, there’s protection if you’re sued for defamation primarily based on how a lot you pay via protection, ”she stated.

Virginia-based lawyer, Jeremiah Denton, defined to The New York Submit that, whereas most insurance coverage firms can pay for the defendant’s lawyer, most insurance policies have a clause that judgement prices—such because the $10.35 million Heard owes Depp—is not going to be lined. “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 stated.

He continued, “Lots of 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.’ With a view to win a defamation case in opposition to a public determine, you need 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 advised The New York Submit that a method Depp may acquire his damages could be to gather wages on her upcoming films, 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 identify of her accountant, in line with The New York Submit. The house is at the moment 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 stated, 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 automobiles do you personal, what jewellery do you personal, what artwork collections’ — the rest that they might use to seize and promote at public sale to attempt to pay down and repay, finally, this judgment.”

Denton advised The New York Submit 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 revenue.” He continued, “He can connect her belongings which mainly means seize them. He can get to her belongings, promote them and take money.” Lawyer Brett Turnbull, a founding associate at Turnbull Holcomb & Lemoine, advised The New York Submit that judgements in Virginia are good for 10 years and will be prolonged. [Heard] might be topic to this judgment for as much as 30 years. If she all of a sudden had a brand new infusion of cash — that may be found by [Depp] and pursued,” he stated.

On condition that Heard is price $8 million, in line with Movie star Internet Price, it’s attainable that she could possibly instantly afford to pay Depp the overall $10.35 million in damages. “Depp would have a cash judgment in opposition to Amber which he may acquire on by levying in opposition to 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 depend upon what belongings and liabilities she has,” Stacy Phillips, a household regulation and divorce lawyer 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 need to file for chapter if she can’t pay the damages she owes Depp. “You may’t get blood from a turnip,” Breyer stated. “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 in all probability file for chapter, however sure issues could be protected in chapter. However the actuality is that’s the issue with legal guidelines the place individuals aren’t required to have insurance coverage.”

Legal professional Sandra Spurgeon of Spurgeon Legislation Group in Lexington, Kentucky, advised CBS Information after the decision that it’s a critical deal if Heard can’t pay Depp the damages she owes him. “For a person who doesn’t have the power to pay the judgment and no potential to put up the bond, then there’s a actual situation if the profitable social gathering intends to execute the judgment,” Spurgeon stated. Spurgeon advised 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 fee. Another choice is for Heard to put up 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 may look in my financial institution accounts,’ then we are able to discuss issues like garnishing her wages,” stated CBS Information authorized contributor Jessica Levinson advised the positioning. “That’s not an uncommon state of affairs the place someone 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 might be garnished in consequence.” 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 need to pay the $350,000 in punitive damages, which typically 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 stated.

In the event you or somebody you already know is experiencing home violence, assist is out there. Name the Nationwide Home Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) for confidential assist.

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