Amber Heard hires another lawyer amid attempts to force two insurance firms to cover her $15M legal bill
Amber Heard's homeowner's policy with Travelers covered libel to the point of $500K and New York Marine issued her a general liability policy for $1M
HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES: Amber Heard was ordered to pay more than $10 million to her ex-husband, Johnny Depp in compensation at the end of the highly publicized trial in June this year, when a jury claimed that she defamed The 'Pirates of the Caribbean' star in a newspaper opinion piece published in 2018. Now it seems that the 36-year-old has changed her lawyers, yet again, in her attempt to force two insurance firms to pick up the bill for her libel payout to her former spouse.
The actress is presently represented by David L Axelrod and Jay Ward Brown in her appeal of the verdict. Kirk Pasich was also hired by Heard on her legal team to get multiple insurance companies to cover her bills, with a staggering value of $15 million. According to Puck News, Heard's expenses skyrocketed to $8 million prior to her trial. Her legal team now appears to seek homeowner's insurance to cover those bills.
The battle concerns Travelers Commercial Insurance Company and New York Marine General Insurance Company. Initially, New York Marine was sued in July last year, by Travelers to gain reimbursement for half of what it spent on defending a client that turned out to be Heard. Heard's homeowner's policy with Travelers covered 'libel' to the point of about $500,000, while New York Marine had issued her a general liability policy for $1 million.
The decisive point of the suit was Travelers believing Heard had the right to pick her own lawyers, while New York Marine disagreed, believing the case was "fairly straightforward." New York Marine's desire was agreed by a judge to use local, cheaper attorneys. Travelers had doubts and argued that lawyers Timothy McEvoy and Sean Patrick Roche "piggy-backed" on the work of Heard attorneys Roberta Kaplan and Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, after the New York Marine appointed them. New York Marine, for their part, claimed their attorneys were frozen out by Kaplan and Bredehoft. In exchange for their contribution to Heard's defense fund, they now want $621,693 paid back as their lawyers were kept out of various legal proceedings.
Heard is currently sued by the insurers to avoid contributing to the libel settlement that has the actress set to pay Depp about $10.35million using a California law preventing insurers from covering "willful acts." Heard is represented by Pasich to try and deal with this situation on her behalf. Double Jeopardy for Heard may find her accountable for the entire judgment if it survives her appeal, as Travelers will try to avoid paying it if Depp could prove she made false statements. Depp, 59, was awarded $10 million to $15 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages at the end of the trial.