Amber Heard Sued By Insurance Company Over Johnny Depp Defamation Trial Payout

Emily Brown

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Amber Heard Sued By Insurance Company Over Johnny Depp Defamation Trial Payout

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Amber Heard is being sued by an insurance company over its responsibilities to cover costs accrued in the recent defamation trial between herself and Johnny Depp.

The Aquaman actor was insured by the New York Marine and General Insurance Company from 18 July, 2018 until 18 July, 2019, a couple of years after she filed for divorce from Depp and accused him of physical abuse in 2016.

The time period proved to be crucial when it came to the recent court case between the former couple, covering the date in which Heard wrote and retweeted the 2018 Washington Post op-ed that resulted in Depp suing her for defamation, as well as the date Depp filed the lawsuit in March 2019.

Heard described herself as a victim of abuse in a 2018 op-ed. Credit: Alamy
Heard described herself as a victim of abuse in a 2018 op-ed. Credit: Alamy

In the lawsuit filed against Heard in the US District Court for the Central District of California this week, the company claimed Heard was covered by a $1 million insurance policy throughout the time period, but is arguing it should not have to pay out.

According to Law & Crime, the insurance firm is suing Heard on three points: that it be absolved of any duty to pay for her defense in the recent defamation case; that it not be required to pay the multi-million dollar judgment Depp won against her; and that it not have to pay any costs of ongoing litigation associated with an appeal.

Although insurance companies may be liable for a client's negligence, New York Marine points out that under California insurance law, 'an insurer is not liable for a loss caused by the willful act of the insured'.

Heard's former insurance company is arguing it should not have to pay out. Credit: Alamy
Heard's former insurance company is arguing it should not have to pay out. Credit: Alamy

As Heard was found to have acted wilfully by defaming Depp in the op-ed, the company believes it should not have to cover the costs accrued in the trial.

The company also argues that it did not approve of a concomitant change in counsel which took place when Cameron McEvoy law firm withdrew from the case in November 2020 after New York Marine had accepted Heard's defense through the firm.

In the lawsuit, the firm said: “An actual controversy has arisen and now exists between Plaintiff, on the one hand, and Heard, on the other hand, with regard to the duties and obligations owed between Plaintiff and Heard under the Policy with respect to indemnity."

Depp was granted more than $10 million in damages after a jury determined he had been defamed by Heard in the op-ed, in which she described herself as a victim of abuse.

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Topics: Celebrity, Amber Heard, Johnny Depp, US News

Emily Brown
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