Amber Heard believes she is entitled to insurance compensation to help cover the $10.4 million a jury ordered her to pay Johnny Depp – but New York Marine and General Insurance Company says they are not responsible, according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles.
Heard had a $1 million personal liability policy with the New York insurer in 2019, when Depp initially sued the “Aquaman” actress in Virginia court for defamation. She took the case to New York Marine and General, who agreed to support her defense – but reminded her at the time that it would not indemnify a judgment, according to the suit.
“An insurer is not liable for loss caused by the willful act of the insured,” the company wrote in its filing Friday in U.S. District Court. A jury found that Heard had “willfully” defamed Depp in a Washington Post op-ed and ordered him to pay him what amounted to $8.4 million, when he was featured in his counter-judgment of 2 millions of dollars.
Heard said she would appeal the verdict – and could not afford to pay the penalty. If an appeals court agrees that the defamation case was mishandled in any way, the result could be changed or overturned. And if Heard really doesn’t have the aces to cover the bill, the former couple could tangle for years, if not decades, to reach a settlement.
Depp has multiple ways to collect, but must wait 90 days after the verdict to start that process, which he can do from August. New York Marine and General did not specifically say Heard had formally filed a claim with the company – but it said it was aware Team Heard believed it was entitled to insurance payout.
“Plaintiff … alleges that Heard disputes Heard’s assertion and asserts that the policy provides indemnification coverage,” the lawsuit states.
Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, did not immediately return the messages left on Monday.
The company is seeking a declaratory judgment to pre-empt any claims related to the judgment.