Elaine Charlson Bredehoft appeared on Thursday’s Today show to share how the Aquaman star was doing — and discuss the judgment. On Wednesday, a Virginia jury awarded the Pirates of the Caribbean actor $10,350,000 after determining Heard made defamatory statements about him in her 2018 Washington Post op-ed about surviving sexual and domestic violence. Heard, who countersued her ex-husband, was awarded $2 million for Depp’s lawyer calling her abuse allegations a “hoax.”
Bredehoft said Heard “absolutely” plans to appeal the verdict— “and she has some excellent grounds for it.”
As for paying the $10.35 million judgment, she said Heard can’t afford that: “Oh, no — absolutely not.”
Bredehoft slammed Depp’s legal team for working to “demonize” her client and “suppress” evidence during the six-week trial that broadcast lurid details of their brief relationship.
Among the evidence she said was kept out of the case were Heard’s “very significant” medical records, dating back to 2012, in which she spoke to a therapist about Depp’s alleged abuse. Also, text messages, including one from Depp’s assistant that said, “‘When I told him he kicked you, he cried.'” (Depp has maintained he never abused Heard claiming instead that she was abusive toward him.)
Bredehoft acknowledged that the jury must not have believed Heard’s testimony, including a claim that Depp sexually assaulted her with a bottle.
However, “That’s because [Heard] was demonized here,” she said. “A number of things were allowed in this court that should not have been allowed, and it caused the jury to be confused.”
Bredehoft also doubted that the jury was able to avoid seeing headlines and news stories on social media about the case because it’s been all over the news for the duration of the trial.
“There’s no way they couldn’t have been influenced,” Bredehoft said. “And it was horrible. [The coverage] really, really was lopsided” to Depp’s benefit. “It was like the Roman Colosseum.”
It was made worse by “cameras in the courtroom,” which she “argued against … because of the sensitive nature of” the case. “But it made it a zoo.”
As for how Heard is doing, she said, “One of the first things she said is that, ‘I am so sorry to all those women out there. This is a setback for all women in and outside the courtroom. She feels the burden of that.”
And in Bredehoft’s opinion, the jury sent a “horrible message. It’s a significant setback because that’s exactly what it means. Unless you pull out your phone and you video your spouse or your significant other beating you, effectively you won’t be believed.”
Both Depp and Heard released statements after the verdict.
In hers, she said, “I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband.”
Depp, who watched the verdict from the U.K. due to “previously scheduled work commitments,” said the lawsuit stemmed from him wanting to “reveal the truth” and he now feels “at peace.”