Amber Heard Hires New Lawyers Amid Appeal Of Johnny Depp Verdict

By Sarah Tate

August 15, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

Amber Heard's legal team will have some new faces as she appeals the June 2022 verdict in the Johnny Depp defamation trial.

A spokesperson for the Aquaman actress announced the addition of two new attorneys who will lead her appeal, David L. Axelrod and Jay Ward Brown, both of whom successfully defended The New York Times earlier this year after former Alaska governor Sarah Palin sued for defamation, per People.

"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," Heard's spokesperson said in a statement. "A different court warrants different representation, particularly as so much new evidence is now coming to light."

Axelrod and Brown said in a statement that they "welcome the opportunity" to represent Heard in her appeal as "it is a case with important First Amendment implications for every American."

The continued, "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."

In addition to the two new attorneys, Ben Rottenborn will return as co-counsel. One shakeup, however, is that Heard's previous lawyer who represented her in the Virginia trial earlier this year, Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, is stepping down and won't be returning for the appeal.

"This is the perfect time to pass the baton," Bredehoft said. "I have pledged to Amber and her appellate team my complete cooperation and assistance as they move forward on a path towards success."

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