Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s attorneys meet in court to settle case

Attorneys for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are due to meet in court on Friday to reach a possible settlement if the actors decide not to prolong their legal battle any further.

On June 1, a Virginia jury ruled that Ms Heard had defamed former husband Mr Depp in a widely watched six-week trial. It also ruled in Ms Heard’s favor on some aspects of her counterclaim against Mr Depp.

The jury awarded Mr Depp $15 million in damages after finding he had proved all three claims against Ms Heard. The amount was reduced to $10 million due to limits set by state law.

The panel also awarded Ms. Heard $2 million in damages.

However, Judge Penney Azcarate, who oversaw the trial, did not enter the verdict on the file – which records the current status and summary of a case – and is expected to do so on Friday unless both parties reach an agreement.

The judge could accept oral arguments from either side about the jury’s verdict, and if they disagree on a settlement, Judge Azcarate will intervene in the verdict, Insider reported.

After 21 days, the case then moves to the Virginia Court of Appeals and both parties have 30 days to appeal.

The actors are not required to be in the courtroom for Friday’s hearing.

The 58-year-old Pirates of the Caribbean star had sued Ms Heard for $50million, arguing she had defamed him in one count Washington Post Guest post entitled “I spoke out against sexual violence – and faced the wrath of our culture. That needs to change.”

While Mr Depp was not named in the piece, his legal team argued it contained a “clear implication that Mr Depp is a domestic abuser”, which they said was “categorically and demonstrably false”.

Ms Heard, 36, is suing for $100million and says her ex-husband verbally abused her when his lawyer called her allegations a “hoax”.

Benjamin Chew, a lawyer for Mr Depp, had previously brokered a deal with Ms Heard that could save her millions in payment. Mr. Chew told Good morning America that his client could agree to a settlement if Ms. Heard agrees not to appeal the case.

“We obviously cannot disclose attorney-client communications, but as Mr. Depp testified and as we both made clear in our respective financial statements, Mr. Depp was never about money. It was about restoring his reputation and he did that,” Mr Chew said.

His comments came after a Ms. Heard’s attorney said the actor can’t afford the $8 million she owes Mr Depp and is likely to appeal.

Ms Heard recently told NBC she fears her ex-husband could sue her again for defamation. “I’m afraid that no matter what I do, no matter what I say or how I say it, every step I take will present another opportunity for that kind of silence,” she said.

“What I think is meant by a defamation lawsuit should take your vote.”

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