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Does Amber Heard actually have grounds for appeal?

Since the court ruled that Amber Heard must pay over $10 million to Johnny Depp for defamation, she has announced she will appeal the decision.

It’s now been two days since the verdict came in for the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. The actress has claimed she is unable to afford the $10 million in damages she was ordered to pay, and as a result, has appealed the verdict. But how much ground does she actually have for the decision to be overturned?

The first thing that’s important to consider is that this is a defamation case. Now, Amber Heard never actually mentioned Johnny Depp’s name in the article, and in the same piece, she even specified that she had been “sexually assaulted by the time I was of college age” – long before she met Depp.

Johnny Depp
Credit: Getty Images

Another potential ground for appeal is the jury. The seven member pool was made up of five men, and two women. None of these jury members were sequestered during the trial, meaning they saw the media circus, social media trends, and memes at the expense of Amber Heard throughout the proceedings.

On the legal side of things, the jury was given verdict forms with questions to consider while making their decision.

The form had the quote from the Washington Post article that was on trial at the top: “Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.”

The first question read, “Do you find that Mr. Depp has proven all the elements of defamation?” With a space provided to answer “YES” or “NO”.

If they answered “YES” they then had a list of follow up questions to consider, the first of which being: “The statement was made or published by Amber Heard.”

Legally speaking, the answer is no. The article was, in fact, ghostwritten by the American Civil Liberties Union, then published by the Washington Post. So if anything, they should have been the ones on trial.

Question 2: “The statement was about Mr. Depp”

Well no, again, legally speaking, he was never actually mentioned.

Credit: Daphne Devaux/Instagram

The rest of the form goes on to ask whether the statement was false, and whether it had defamatory implications. Yeah, it definitely didn’t help Depp’s career – but based on the evidence presented in the trial, the only way you could rule it was false is if you truely believe Amber Heard was lying during her entire testimony.

We’re not siding with either party, we don’t know what went on in in their private relationship. But if you read this thinking that we’re “team Amber”… there’s your answer as to whether she has grounds for appeal, because these points are simply facts.