Celebrity

Insurance Company Sues Amber Heard To Keep From Paying For Johnny Depp Judgment And Legal Fees

Insurance Company Sues Amber Heard To Keep From Paying For Johnny Depp Judgment And Legal Fees
ADVERTISEMENT

Amber Heard is getting sued again. This time, an insurance company wants to avoid paying the legal fees and the judgment resulting from Depp's defamation trial.

The New York Marine and General Insurance Company would like the court to absolve it of any duty to pay for Heard's legal defense during the recently concluded trial.

The corporation would also like to avoid the responsibility of paying the multi-million dollar judgment Depp was awarded after the trial. Finally, the insurance company would like not to pay any costs associated with Heard's appeal against the decision made during the defamation trial.

The company filed the case in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Heard was insured by the company from July 2018 to July 2019, which was an important time for the defamation case.

During this time, she wrote the problematic Washington Post op-ed, claiming to be "a public figure representing domestic abuse."

ADVERTISEMENT

She also claimed that she had spoken about sexual violence and faced "culture's wrath" for her decision.

The company was also Heard's insurer when Depp filed his defamation case on March 1, 2019. Deep filed the lawsuit in Fairfax County, Virginia, because that's where The Washington Post servers are located.

The media company also publishes its papers from Virginia.

According to the insurance company, Heard had a $1 million insurance policy from July 2018 to July 2019.

ADVERTISEMENT

The company is arguing that, even though California insurance law holds an insurance company liable for the negligence of the insured party, the liability does not extend to cases where the loss was "caused by the willful act of the insured."

New York Marine claims that since their client Amber Heard was found to have acted out of malice (or willfully) when she defamed her ex-husband, the company does not have to cover the costs related to the trial and the judgment that followed.

In the lawsuit, the company also argues that it accepted Heard's defense on October 1, 2019, through Cameron McEvoy, a law firm, and had agreed to continue covering her through the law firm. However, according to the company, Cameron McEvoy withdrew from the lawsuit on November 2, 2020, based on the direction of the actress or her attorneys.

Since the company did not approve of this change in counsel, it feels that it does not have to pay her legal fees.

On June 1, 2022, the jury in Depp's defamation suit determined that Heard had defamed the actor and awarded him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages after 13 hours of deliberations over three days.

In the end, Heard had to pay $10.35 million since punitive damages cannot exceed $350,000 in Virginia. The case had taken six weeks.

ADVERTISEMENT

The jury also found Depp liable on one of the counterclaims Heard had made against him about a statement his lawyer, Adam Waldman, made to the Daily Mail in April 2020.

Waldman had claimed that Heard and her friends had set up Depp by calling 911 and summoning first responders to his penthouse. The incident took place on May 21, 2016.

On that night, she had asked Depp to go to the shared penthouse. Depp claimed to have told her that he had filed for divorce.

He said he had gone there to get some of his possessions while preparing to go on a tour with his band, The Hollywood Vampires.

After they spoke, she got angry. However, she claimed he had thrown a phone at her face, which Depp denied.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to Depp, he left after his security team went to get him when they heard yelling inside the penthouse.

Six days after the incident, Heard got a domestic violence restraining order against him, and the media was waiting as she left the court in Los Angeles, which made the story spread throughout the world.

Despite Heard's claims, Depp denied ever abusing Heard sexually or physically.

The actress also had a homeowners insurance policy through Travelers Insurance when she wrote the op-ed. An insurance company representative was in court during the trial, sitting behind Heard in the gallery on each day of the trial.

In a different case filed in 2021, Travelers Insurance sued New York Marine for "failure to meet its obligation to provide [Heard] with independent counsel and other counsel necessary to defend [Heard]."

For this reason, Travelers Insurance felt it was forced to pay for New York Marine's share of the defense. In May, the judge, in this case, was asked to stay the proceedings for 65 days.