Amber Heard countersues her insurer and says it DOES have to cover the $8.3 million she owes Johnny Depp after being found libel in blockbuster defamation trial: Company argues actress was ‘willful’ and it should not have to pay up
- Amber Heard filed a countersuit against New York Marine and General Insurance Co., claiming it should cover her over her loses at the defamation trial
- Heard, 36, was ordered to pay $8.3 million to ex-husband Johnny Depp
- Although she took out a $1 million policy with the insurer, the company argued it shouldn’t pay because the jury found Amber committed ‘willful misconduct’
- Heard, however, argues that she had an ‘unconditional deal’ with the company and that it should protect her no matter what
Heard, 36, who was ordered to fork over $8.3 million to her ex-husband in their contentious defamation trial, countersued New York Marine and General Insurance Co. after the insurer asked a judge to let it off the hook.
Heard had taken a $1million liability policy to protect her from defamation claims, however, the insurer argued that because the jury found Amber committed willful misconduct in her claims about Depp, they do not have to fulfill the policy under California law.
Court documents obtained by TMZ shows Heard is arguing the opposite, claiming that she struck an ‘unconditional deal’ that protects her no matter what.
The countersuit comes just weeks after Depp, 59, filed an appeal over the courts verdict that he pay $2 million to Heard following their trial.
Amber Heard filed a countersuit against New York Marine and General Insurance Co., claiming it should cover her over her loses at the defamation trial with ex-husband Johnny Depp
Heard, 36, was ordered to pay $8.3 million to Depp (above). Although she took out a $1 million policy with the insurer, the company argued that because the jury found Amber committed willful misconduct in her claims, they do not have to fulfill the policy under California law
In her countersuit, Heard accused New York Marine and General Insurance Co. of trying to turn their backs on their agreement, saying it was a ‘breach of contract.’
It is the latest drama surrounding Heard and her insurers.
The battle concerns Travelers Commercial Insurance Company and New York Marine General Insurance Company.
Travelers initially sued New York Marine in July 2021 to gain reimbursement for half of what it spent on defending a client that turned out to be Heard.
Heard’s homeowners policy with Travelers covered ‘libel’ to the point of about $500,000, while New York Marine had issued her a general liability policy for $1million.
The crux of the suit was Travelers believing Heard had the right to pick her own lawyers, while New York Marine disagreed, believing the case was ‘fairly straight forward’. A judge agreed with New York Marine’s desire to use local, cheaper attorneys.
Travelers had doubts about New York Marine’s appointed lawyers Timothy McEvoy and Sean Patrick Roche, arguing they ‘piggy-backed’ on the work of Heard attorneys Roberta Kaplan and Elaine Charlson Bredehoft.
New York Marine, for their part, claimed their attorneys were frozen out by Kaplan and Bredehoft.
They now want $621,693 paid back in exchange for their contribution to Heard’s defense fund because their lawyers were kept out of various legal proceedings.
The insurers are currently suing Heard to avoid contributing to the libel settlement using a California law preventing insurers from covering ‘willful acts’.
Heard recently hired attorney Kirk Pasich to try and deal with this situation on her behalf.
Double Jeopardy for Heard may find her responsible for the entire judgement if it survives her appeal, as Travelers will try to avoid paying it if Depp could prove she made false statements.
Depp and Heard were married for just 15 months before they called it quits in 2016
At the end of the defamation trial, Depp, 59, was awarded $10million to $15million in compensatory damages and $5million in punitive damages.
The judge later capped the damages at the state’s maximum of $350,000 leaving Depp with a total of $8.35million.
Meanwhile, Heard won one of her three countersuit claims related to statements made by Depp’s lawyer suggesting the actress and her friends had trashed their apartment before calling the police.
The actress was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages out of the $100 million she sought.
A day after Heard’s team filed an appeal, Depp’s team did the same to overturn the couple million the actor owes to his ex-wife.
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor’s team said they filed an appeal to ensure ‘all information is considered by the court’ while they return to consider Heard’s appeal.
Before filing an appeal, Heard’s attorney asked the judge to throw out the decision and declare a mistrial. It was argued that one of the jurors on the case should not have been eligible to serve because his summons was intended for his father, who had the same name and lived at the same address.
Judge Penny Azcarate shot down the request claiming there was no ‘evidence of fraud or wrongdoing’ by the juror and that the jury’s verdict should stand.’
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Defamation Trial Timeline
In March 2019, Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife, Amber Heard, for $50million after she wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post in 2018 saying she was abused by the Pirates of the Caribbean star. However, she never explicitly named Depp in the piece but wrote that she is ‘a public figure representing domestic abuse.’
In February 2020, audio recordings obtained by DailyMail.com, reveals Heard admitting to hitting Depp. ‘I f**king was hitting you… I don’t know what the motion of my hand was, but you’re fine, I did not hurt you, I did not punch you, I was hitting you,’ Heard said.
In January 2021, Heard countersued her ex-husband for $100million
On April 11, 2022, the six-week trial kicked off in Virginia to discuss the abuse allegations made throughout the couples relationship. The pair married in 2015 but divorced in 2017.
On April 20, 2022, Heard admitted to getting violent with Depp as audio recording of the actress were played
On May 4, 2022, Heard took the stand to recall romance with Depp before he allegedly abused her. The actress said the abuse dated back to 2013 when Depp allegedly sexually assaulted her.
On May 25, 2022, Depp testified again and claimed Heard’s allegations were false. He claimed he never abused his ex-wife
On June 1, 2022, the judge ruled in Depp won the defamation case against Heard subjecting her to pay The Pirates of the Caribbean star $10.3 million. The jury awarded Heard $2 million after Depp’s attorney said Heard and her friends trashed her apartment before calling police.
On July 21, 2022, Heard appealed the judge’s decision in her defamation case against Depp – two months after she was subjected to pay $ 10million to her ex-husband in damages.
On July 22, 2022, Depp filed an appeal against his conviction for defaming Heard after calling the domestic abuse claims against him a ‘hoax’ – subjecting him to pay his ex-wife $2 million