Amber Heard is facing another courtroom showdown — but this time it is over who has to foot the bill for her astronomical legal expenses, which surpassed $8 million before the start of ex-husband Johnny Depp‘s six-week defamation trial against her, according to a report.
Heard, 36has a homeowner’s policy with Travelers Commercial Insurance Company and a general liability policy with New York Marine — and both cover libel claims, Puck News reported.
A representative from Travelers, Pamela Johnson, was frequently spotted in court during the trial seated behind the defense table in the gallery.
Travelers sued New York Marine in July 2021, demanding it pay half of the legal costs already spent defending Heard without identifying her by name.
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Travelers, which has funded the bulk of Heard’s defense, argued that the “Aquaman” actress had a right to pick her own lawyers. Heard burned through a string of high-profile attorneys before ultimately settling on local Virginia lawyer Elaine Bredehoft for the six-week trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court.
However, New York Marine disagreed and dispatched their own — presumably cheaper — lawyers, Puck reported.
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The two attorneys they hired, Timothy McEvoy and Sean Patrick Roche, were frozen out of the case and later withdrew before the trial, the company said in court filings.
In June, a Virginia jury found that Heard had defamed Depp by referring to herself as a domestic abuse victim in a 2018 op-ed and awarded him $10.35 million. Heard won a $2 million judgment against Depp, 59, in her countersuit.
New York Marine sued Heard in July to get out of paying any part of the judgment, court records show. The company argued that under California law, the insurance policy does not cover willful acts.
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In the complaint, New York Marine said that while it may be responsible for an insured party’s negligence, “an insurer is not liable for a loss caused by the willful act of the insured.”
The jury found that Heard had acted with actual malice — or willfully — when defaming Depp, so New York Marine argued they should not be on the hook for the judgment or the cost of her appeal.
Travelers made a similar argument before the verdict came in, advising Heard that it would have no obligation to pay an award if Depp proved that she had knowingly made a false statement.
Heard has enlisted a brand-new lawyer, Kirk Pasich, to deal with the insurance quandary.
Amber Heard’s team did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Puck reported that her total legal costs to defend herself in the defamation case could come out to over $15 million in what could be the most expensive libel action in US history.
Heard and Depp are both appealing the verdict.