Attorneys for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are set to face off in court one more time Friday in a last-ditch effort to settle the defamation case before the judge finalizes the trial verdict.
The two sides were set to appear in court at 11 a.m. in Fairfax County Circuit Court for the hearing to determine if they will move forward with the settlements issued in the case spurred by a Washington Post op-ed penned by Heard.
On June 1, a Virginia jury awarded Depp $15 million in damages — which was reduced to $10.35 million because of caps sets by state law — after finding that Heard unfairly portrayed him as an abuser in the piece, and in the process injured his reputation and career.
While jurors ruled in favor of all three of Depp’s claims of defamation, they also found that the actor’s former attorney defamed Heard in one instance, and awarded her $2 million in damages as part of her countersuit.
Fairfax County Judge Penney Azcarate did not enter the verdict into the docket at the time, putting it off until Friday — unless Heard and Depp’s legal teams could reach a settlement, reported Business Insider.
Earlier this month, Depp’s lawyer Benjamin Chew hinted during an interview on “Good Morning America” that the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star might be willing to forgo having his ex-wife pay him millions of dollars in damages if she agreed to not file an appeal.
“We obviously can’t disclose attorney-client communications, but as Mr. Depp testified … this was never about money for Mr. Depp,” Chew told George Stephanopoulos when asked about Heard’s fear of being left penniless.
“This was about restoring his reputation — and he’s done that,” Chew added.
Elaine Bredehoft, one of Heard’s attorneys, told NBC’s “Today” that the “Aquaman” star could not afford the $8.35 million she owed Depp.
Sources told The Post in early June that the 36-year-old actress is “broke” due to massive legal fees associated with the six-week trial.
When asked if the actress had the means to cover the judgment handed down by the jury, Bredehoft said “Oh no, absolutely not.”
At the hearing Friday, the two sides could agree to reduce the damages owed, waive them altogether, or agree on a payment plan.
Depp and Heard are not required to be present in court.
If the lawyers for the former spouses fail to reach a settlement, the judge will enter the jury verdict into the docket.
After 21 days, the case will move to the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and then the parties will have 30 days to file a notice of appeal.