Johnny Depp‘s hotshot lawyer Camille Vasquez has conducted her first sit-down interview after Amber Heard officially filed a notice of appeal over the $US10 million verdict in the former couple’s defamation case.
A spokesperson for Heard announced the appeal move with a statement appearing to pre-empt social media reaction earlier in July.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Camille Vasquez speaks
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“We believe the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the First Amendment,” the spokesman said.
“We are therefore appealing the verdict.
“While we realize today’s filing will ignite the Twitter bonfires, there are steps we need to take to ensure both fairness and justice.”
Speaking to CBS Mornings co-host Gayle King on Friday, Vasquez said Heard’s appeal was “expected”.
“She’s indicated since the day she lost the trial that she was going to appeal.”
Vasquez said Depp’s team had prepared a strategy to deal with that.
“Mr Depp ended up filing his own appeals so that the court could have a full record.
“She insists on continuing to litigate this matter. We have to protect our client’s interests.”
Vasquez’s reference to Depp’s “own appeals” refers to the fact he has also filed an appeal against the jury’s ruling that he had defamed Heard via comments made by his attorney Adam Waldman in 2020.
Following Depp’s courtroom win, the actor told fans: “The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun”.
King asked Vasquez: “How do you heal and move on when both sides are still in court arguing?”
“It’s pretty standard legal procedure,” Vasquez said.
“We just are hopeful that the court will uphold the verdict, which we think was the right verdict, and allow both parties to move on.”
“So is it safe to say that if she hadn’t appealed you all would not have appealed either and you would have moved on?” King asked.
“Yes,” Vasquez answered. “That’s a very fair statement.”
Before the official notice of appeal, Heard’s lawyers had unsuccessfully asked Judge Penney Azcarate to set aside the verdict and “investigate potential improper juror service”.
Among a variety of arguments, Heard’s lawyers suggested one juror on the panel may have been selected illegally.
According to court papers, a summons went out to a 77-year-old man.
But the man who answered in his place was his 52-year-old son, who has the same name and lives at the same address.
However, in a written order Judge Penney Azcarate rejected all of Heard’s claims and said the juror issue specifically was irrelevant and that Heard could not show she was prejudiced.
“The juror was vetted, sat for the entire jury, deliberated, and reached a verdict. The only evidence before this Court is that this juror and all jurors followed their oaths, the Court’s instructions, and orders.
“This Court is bound by the competent decision of the jury,” Azcarate wrote.
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