Amber Heard has hired a new legal team to appeal the verdict of her 2022 defamation lawsuit.
After a six-week trial, a jury ruled in June that Heard’s 2018 Washington Post op-ed – in which she positioned herself as a public figure representing victims of domestic abuse – defamed Depp, her ex-husband.
The court also awarded Heard damages for a defamatory statement made by Depp’s former lawyer.
The “Aquaman” actress officially filed to appeal the verdict in July and has now assembled a new legal team to help her case.
On Monday, Heard announced that she had hired new lawyers, David L. Axelrod and Jay Ward Brown. Ben Rottenborn, who represented her during the trial, will remain on the team as co-counsel, while her other trial attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, is stepping down.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Heard said of the appeal process, “When it comes to protecting the fundamental right of Freedom of Speech, we look at the jury’s decision – to paraphrase a famous quote – not ‘as the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.’ A different court warrants different representation, particularly as so much new evidence is now coming to light.”
In a joint statement, Axelrod and Brown added, “We welcome the opportunity to represent Ms. Heard in this appeal as it is a case with important First Amendment implications for every American.”