GoFundMe shut down a fake fundraiser seeking to raise $1 million to help Amber Heard to pay off Johnny Depp after the ex-couple’s defamation trial saw her owe him $15 million.
A Justice for Amber Heard page was launched on the crowdfunding site by someone named Kimberly Moore, who alleged to be in contact with Heard’s legal team, shortly after the jury reached a verdict in the trial.
‘I believe Amber, and social media protected the abuser,’ the GoFundMe page read. ‘The judgment exceeds her net worth. It’s so sad that he was able to get away with the abuse. The judgment furthers that abuse. If you can please help her.’
However, the platform closed the fundraiser after determining neither Heard, 36, nor her team were connected to the page, despite Moore’s vow that the Aquaman actress would have ‘direct access’ to any money raised.
A GoFundMe spokesperson told TMZ the account was closed before any ‘substantial amount of money was raised’. It is unclear what steps, if any, the platform will take against Moore for creating a fake fundraiser as GoFundMe did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Meantime, Heard’s legal team plans to appeal the defamation trial verdict and alleges she cannot afford to pay the damages she owes Depp, 58, because they exceed her net worth.
GoFundMe shut down a fake fundraiser seeking to raise $1 million to help Amber Heard to pay off Johnny Depp after the ex-couple’s defamation trial saw her owe him $15 million
Depp sued Heard for libel in Virginia over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as ‘a public figure representing domestic abuse.’ His lawyers said he was defamed by the article even though it never mentioned his name.
In a blockbuster verdict, a jury in Fairfax County Circuit Court on Wednesday awarded Depp $15 million in total – $10 million in compensation and $5 million in punitive damages.
In a split decision, Heard also won a $2 million verdict against Depp, leaving her owing him $8.35 million.
Lawyer Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, who represented Heard at trial, appeared on the Today Show on Thursday and said that Heard has ‘excellent grounds’ to appeal the verdict and plans to do so.
The attorney insisted the jury in the case had been influenced by public opinion including on social media, despite strict orders from the judge not to read anything about the case outside of court.
‘There’s no way they couldn’t have been influenced. It was horrible. It was really, really lop sided,’ Bredehoft said of public sentiment against Heard in the case. ‘It’s like the Roman coliseum, how they viewed this whole case.’
GoFundMe determined the account was not associated with Heard (right) or her team and shut down the fundraiser. Heard is pictured with her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft (left) after the verdict was read at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Virginia on Wednesday
Bredehoft has said that Heard has ‘excellent grounds’ to appeal the verdict and plans to do so. She also argued the actress cannot afford to pay the damages she owes Depp because they exceed her net worth. Bredehoft is seen embracing Heard in a hug after the verdict was read in court on Wednesday
Bredehoft argued that Depp’s legal team had tried to ‘demonize Amber and suppress the evidence.’
‘We had an enormous amount of evidence suppressed in this case that was in the UK case,’ she said, referring to Depp’s defamation suit against The Sun newspaper, which he lost. ‘In the UK case when it came in, Amber won, Mr. Depp lost.’
‘A number of things were allowed in this court that should not have been allowed and it caused the jury to be confused,’ she added.
The attorney also said Heard is ‘absolutely not’ able to pay Depp $10.35 million in damages. Financial analysts, noting Heard’s monetary struggles which she herself cited during the trial, argue if Depp does force her to pay the full bill, it could force her to file for bankruptcy.
The damages bill may also force her to sell off assets, including a $570,000 rural hideaway in Yucca Valley and a Range Rover she kept in the divorce from Depp.
Her net worth is also unclear, with Fox Business reporting it as $8 million, while others have reported it closer to $3 million.
Actress Amber Heard departs the Fairfax County Courthouse on Wednesday in Fairfax, Virginia after jury delivered a verdict in favor of her her ex-husband Depp
Heard previously said she had to ‘fight’ to retain her role as Mera in the sequel to the 2018 superhero film Aquaman. The role of Mera has netted her around $3 million
Experts have also suggested that there is ‘no way back for Heard in Hollywood’ adding that the dramatic six-week court battle has left the actress ‘too icky for a studio.’
Heard is also facing a petition to remove her from Aquaman 2 in light of her battle with Depp.
The actress has previously said she had to ‘fight’ to retain her role as Mera in the sequel to the 2018 superhero film Aquaman, and that she has been cast in only one other film in the last two years. The role of Mera has netted her around $3 million.
British PR expert Mark Borkowski told DailyMail.com on Thursday: ‘There is no way back for Heard in Hollywood. If you’re sitting there making a movie or thinking about casting it, are you going to hire her?
‘Look at the huge outcry about Aquaman 2. The trial pollutes any marketing or PR to launch a film.’
Reputation management consultant Alexandra Villa of In House PR told the Mirror: ‘Amber’s career appears to be in crisis right now. What has happened will frighten the big Hollywood studios. Smaller productions too will be wary about investing money into Amber for any project.
‘In my opinion, at this moment, producers will have to consider carefully whether they will hire her as the momentum of public opinion has shifted against her.
‘People forget Hollywood studios are businesses. They hire stars on whether they will bring in profits or not. She has a mountain to climb. Much of her testimony has holes in it and she may need to address those issues.’
On the contrary, some entertainment experts both Depp and Heard will work in the industry again, but it will take a bit of time before they are cast in roles.
Former entertainment lawyer Matthew Belloni, who writes about the business of Hollywood for the newsletter Puck, said: ‘Both of them will work again, but I think it will be a while before a major studio will consider them ‘safe’ enough to bet on.
‘The personal baggage that was revealed in this trial was just too icky for a studio to want to deal with.’
Depp gestures to spectators in court after closing arguments at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax on May 27
Meanwhile, Depp seems to be back in the spotlight and having the time of his life after having won his case against Heard.
He took the the stage with guitar legend Jeff Beck in Glasgow, Scotland on Friday night to hoards of female fans chanting: ‘Innocent, innocent.’
Depp has been in the UK to join Beck, 77, on his tour and previously made an appearance during his friend’s gig at the Sage Gateshead in the north of England on Thursday.
Depp joined Beck’s tour in west London last Monday and Tuesday night after surprising fans with an appearance on Sunday.
He will continue on Beck’s UK tour, playing in Manchester on Saturday, Birmingham on Monday and York on Tuesday. It is thought the tour was planned before Depp’s trial date in the U.S. was set.
The actor was seen at a pub in Newcastle, located in northern England, on Wednesday evening, just hours before the verdict in his high profile defamation case was due to be delivered.
Depp was seen drinking with Beck and musician Sam Fender, as well as posing for photos with a group of women.
Later that day, sporting the same outfit he wore to the pub, Depp was seen in a video posted to Instagram signing a statement.
Johnny Depp is smiling as he leaves a sound check in Glasgow, Scotland on Friday
He took the the stage with guitar legend Jeff Beck in Glasgow, Scotland on Friday night to hoards of female fans chanting: ‘Innocent, innocent’
Johnny Depp waves to fans as he appears for gig with guitar legend Jeff Beck in Glasgow on Friday
Depp has been in the UK to join Beck, 77, on his tour (Depp is pictured in Glasgow on left) and previously made an appearance during his friend’s gig at the Sage Gateshead in the north of England on Thursday (right)
Depp is seen posing with a group of women in a pub in Newscastle on Wednesday in a photo posted on Instagram. He was also seen drinking with musicians John Beck and Sam Fender
Unlike his ex-wife, Depp was not in court when the jury announced its verdict and awarded the actor $15 million.
The judge reduced the $5 million punitive damages award to the Virginia maximum of $350,000, reducing Depp’s total to $10,350,000 – minus the $2 million he was ordered to pay Heard.
After the verdict was read out Heard briefly hugged her lawyers then anxiously exited the courtroom.
Depp’s legal team were all smiles and joined each other in a group hug of 10 people.
Heard said in a statement after the verdict: ‘The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband.
‘I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously.’
Depp, also issuing a statement Wednesday, said: ‘Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also, the lives of the people who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed.
‘And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.’