Amber Heard looming financial damages, which she owes to ex-husband Johnny Depp, could create difficult scenarios for the actress in case of non-payment.
Legal analyst Emily D. Baker tells PEOPLE reveals that it is up to both the parties to discuss and come upon a conclusion over the settlement. Heard’s attorney however insists that her client can ‘absolutely not’ pay the whopping amount on $10M.
“It will be up to the parties, but once the judgment is entered on June 24, I wonder if the attorneys will start negotiating that judgment payment,” says Baker. “Ben Chew said in his closing argument that Johnny Depp wasn’t seeking to punish Amber Heard with money. [Chew said on Friday to the jury: The case “has never been about money” or about “punishing” Heard.] I imagine that they will try to settle it and you’ll see a PR statement that they are not seeking to enforce the judgment.”
“If they do want to enforce the judgment,” she continues, “that starts a whole separate process in court, of potentially attaching property, setting up ways it has to be paid. I imagine — and if I’m team Depp, this is what I would do — they’d look at getting an injunction to stop Amber Heard from repeating statements that the jury found were defamatory and then stipulating that the payments won’t be made and there won’t be any judgment outstanding.”
Says Baker, “If he’s not interested in the money, I think he’s more interested in her not repeating these allegations.”
“Getting the judgement is one thing. Getting the money is a whole separate thing,” she says.
“From a PR standpoint, it would not be ideal to see Johnny Depp trying to aggressively enforce this judgement,” says Baker. “… We’ll see what they do. I don’t think we’ll see them aggressively pursuing this judgment right away. And I don’t think they necessarily should at this point.”
When asked if filing for bankruptcy, could help Heard, Ms D.Baker responded otherwise.
“Because this is an intentional tort — the willful element of defamation that had to be found because they’re celebrities — takes it out of the possibility of bankruptcy because it was a willful act. So it’s an intentional tort,” she says. “Defamation, and when it’s against a public figure, that willfulness element, that malice element, takes it right out of the ability to be discharged in bankruptcy.”