Amber Heard has engaged a new legal team to represent her as she prepares to appeal Johnny Depp‘s multimillion-dollar decision in their defamation trial.
A spokesperson for Heard, 36, revealed Monday that she has hired David L. Axelrod and Jay Ward Brown of Philadelphia-based Ballard Spahr to head her appeal, People reported.
Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, who represented Heard during the six-week trial in Fairfax County, Virginia, earlier this year, has stepped down as her client’s lawyer.
According to Heard’s spokesperson, Ben Rottenborn of Virginia-based Woods Rogers and Vandeventer Black will stay as co-counsel.
“When it comes to protecting the fundamental right of Freedom of Speech, we look at the jury’s decision — to paraphrase a famous quote — not ‘as the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.’ A different court warrants different representation, particularly as so much new evidence is now coming to light,” a spokesperson for Heard said in a statement, according to the outlet.
As per fox news, in her own statement, obtained by People, Bredehoft said, “This is the perfect time to pass the baton. I have pledged to Amber and her appellate team my complete cooperation and assistance as they move forward on a path towards success.”
According to Deadline, Heard’s decision to add Axelrod and Brown to her legal team was made public Monday in a court filing in the Old Dominion.
Earlier this year, the lawyers successfully defended The New York Times against Sarah Palin’s defamation action.
According to a press release, Brown has been representing journalists, news organizations, documentary filmmakers, and other speakers on First Amendment issues for three decades.
According to the news release, Axelrod is a former federal prosecutor and first-chair trial lawyer who defends businesses and people in high-stakes civil litigation.
“We welcome the opportunity to represent Ms. Heard in this appeal as it is a case with important First Amendment implications for every American,” Axelrod and Brown said in a joint statement, according to People.
“We’re confident the appellate court will apply the law properly without deference to popularity, reverse the judgment against Ms. Heard, and reaffirm the fundamental principles of Freedom of Speech.”
The jury determined on June 1 that Heard defamed Depp in her 2018 Washington Post op-ed about surviving domestic abuse and awarded the actor $10.35 million in damages. Meanwhile, Heard was awarded $2 million for one of her three defamation countersuit allegations.
Heard’s attorneys filed an appeal notice in Fairfax County Circuit Court last month, stating in a statement obtained by People that “the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the First Amendment.”
Depp’s attorneys then filed an appeal over Heard’s $2 million verdict.
Camille Vasquez, his attorney, stated that the move was done “so that the court could have the full record.”