On June 1st Johnny Depp’s attorneys filed a motion opposing the payment of $86,256 in “expenses” requested by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The motion came from Brown Rudnick who just won the defamation suit against their client’s ex-wife Amber Heard.
The ACLU claims it is owed the money since it cost money to produce documents and witnesses in Depp vs Heard.
According to the filing submitted to New York state’s Supreme Court, “Respondents’ request for in excess of $86,000 in “expenses” associated with their Court ordered document production is not only exorbitant and unreasonable, but unsupported by New York law,” the lawyers wrote.
Depp says no to ACLU
The organization claimed that “Prior to filing this motion, the ACLU Non-Parties sent a detailed description of their expenses to Mr. Depp. And said they wanted to negotiate reimbursement without Court intervention. Those negotiations were unsuccessful.” And are asking the court to make Depp pay.
In Depp’s motion the attorneys wrote, “Mr. Depp acknowledges that New York law provides for the reimbursement of reasonable production expenses to a non-party and does not oppose reimbursing the Respondents for such reasonable expenses; but Respondents seek reimbursement for expenses that go far beyond what was reasonably required to comply with the subpoena.”
An ACLU spokesperson says that under New York state law, the organization can seek costs associated with complying with subpoena requests. The spokesperson also claims the compensation requested is much lower than what it cost the ACLU to produce “dozens of documents” Depp requested.
Depp’s attorneys insist that “Indeed, even if Mr. Depp were responsible for these expenses under New York law (which he is not) the fees incurred for these tasks are unreasonable and should be substantially reduced. For these reasons, and the reasons set forth herein, the Court should deny the Respondents’ Motion.”
Several ACLU witnesses testified via live stream. And Depp was asking the organization to provide the court info on donations. The donations were paid by Johnny Depp and Elon Musk in 2015 and 2016 on the heels of Depp and Heard’s divorce.
Testimony also revealed that the ACLU aided Heard in composing the 2018 op-ed.
Johnny Depp wins defamation suit
Last week, Depp emerged as the winner in the trial. He sued Heard after she published a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post. It claimed she was a survivor of domestic abuse. And the online headline said Heard had been sexually abused. It never directly named Depp in the article, but the implication was unavoidable.
The actor accused his ex-wife of defaming him. And said his career was damaged. The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
Heard countersued. Heard was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages in connection with her countersuit.