The drama surrounding the aftermath of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s defamation case has arguably become even more complex than the six-week trial itself at this point. Since the jury delivered its verdict in early June, further developments have cropped up for both stars. When it comes to Heard, she and her team are currently navigating how she’ll pay the millions of dollars that Depp was awarded in court while also seeking ways to appeal or even have a mistrial declared. On top of that, it would seem that the actress is now facing a brand-new lawsuit filed by an insurance company.
The New York Marine and General Insurance Company is the entity that’s suing Amber Heard, per Law & Crime. The organization, which insured Heard from July 2018 to July 2019, filed suit against her this past Friday in California and did so in the hopes of accomplishing three things. The first thing is to absolve itself of paying for the star’s defense in her defamation case against Johnny Depp. The group also filed so that it will not be required to pay the money that Heard now owes her ex according to the verdict. And finally, it’s hoping to avoid picking up the tab for any further litigation expense connected to an appeal.
The suit claims that during the aforementioned period of time, the Aquaman actress was covered by an insurance policy valued at $1 million. Per California insurance law, an insurer can indeed be held liable due to negligence on the insured party’s part. However, New York Marine argues that “an insurer is not liable for a loss caused by the willful act of the insured[.]” In other words, because a jury ruled that the starlet acted with malice, the company believes that it shouldn’t have to compensate her. The filing also notes that NYM accepted the Cameron McEvoy law firm as her defense in October 2019, yet it did not approve when the firm withdrew from the case in November 2020, allegedly at the behest of the actress herself or her team. Due to that change, the insurer does not believe it should have to shell out cash for legal fees.
The lawsuit reportedly notes that New York Marine insured Amber Heard during a key portion of the defamation case. It was during that period of time that she published the 2018 Washington Post op-ed at the center of the legal conflict. Said timeframe also encompasses March 2019, which is when Johnny Depp formally filed the defamation suit against his former spouse.
Following the case, Johnny Depp was awarded a compensatory $10 million and $5 million in punitive damages. His ex, on the other hand, was awarded $2 million in her $100 million countersuit. The sum for the punitive damages has since been reduced, and Amber Heard is now required to pay $8.3 million, which her team says she is unable to pay. (The star, however, likely raised eyebrows when she was spotted using a private plane shortly after that declaration.)
The Friday Night Lights alum seemed to be seeking to appeal (around the time that her rep made a bold comparison regarding the case). However, she and her legal team are now seeking a mistrial through an alleged error with Juror 15. They doubled down on those efforts in a suit filed this past week, as they claim the person who showed up to the courthouse is not the same individual who was summoned.
Meanwhile, Johnny Depp is dealing with his own financial and legal situations. The Pirates of the Caribbean star is facing additional legal fees due to a recent court ruling. Additionally, Depp is on the cusp of heading back to court due to assault charges connected to his work on the 2018 film City of Lies.
It’s hard to say how the fallout from the defamation case will be resolved. Though if this latest lawsuit from New York Marine is any indication, it may be a while before Amber Heard ties up loose ends on her part.