Amber Heard faces legal battle with insurer over Depp suit

Amber Heard faces a new front in litigation, this time with her insurance company.

New York Marine and General Insurance Co. filed a lawsuit against the “Aquaman” actor in federal court on Friday, seeking a ruling on whether to pay Heard after her unsuccessful defense of a defamation lawsuit filed by her ex-husband Johnny Depp got to. The insurance company said in the lawsuit that it does not believe it remains obligated to defend Heard.

A spokesman for Heard was not immediately available for comment on Friday.

“An actual controversy arose and now exists between Plaintiff, on the one hand, and Heard, on the other hand, as to the duties and obligations owed between Plaintiff and Heard under the Policy in respect of indemnification” for their actions in the Depp case, the insurance company said in its filing.

The lawsuit filed in the US District Court in California is Heard’s latest potential legal challenge. It comes just over a month after the verdict in the lengthy, high-profile trial before a Virginia jury to rule on the merits of Depp’s claim that Heard defamed him and Heard’s counterclaim. The trial included weeks of controversial testimony, including Heard’s graphic allegations of sexual violence during their marriage. Depp denied Heard’s allegations of domestic violence.

In 2019, Depp brought a $50 million defamation case over his ex-wife’s December 2018 comment in The Washington Post in which Heard described himself as “a public figure who depicts domestic violence.” The comment didn’t mention Depp by name, but the Pirates of the Caribbean actor claimed it was clear he was the subject of the essay. Last month, Depp won a more than $10 million judgment against Heard after the six-week trial.

Depp won three lawsuits against Heard, while Heard won one of three lawsuits she filed against Depp in her $100 million counterclaim.

Now her insurance company says she doesn’t think she has to pay Heard for the policy, which offered up to $1 million in liability coverage.

The lawsuit states the insurance company issued a policy for Heard in 2019.

“Plaintiff alleges that he is under no obligation to defend Heard under California Insurance Code 533,” the insurance company said in its complaint. State law provides that “an insurer shall not be liable for any loss caused by the intentional act of the insured,” the lawsuit states.

The insurer said it originally advised Heard to defend himself legally, but under California law he does not have to pay compensation for her actions.

“The jury’s findings of fact establish that Heard’s liability is caused by Heard’s willful act(s),” the New York Marine and General Insurance Co. complaint states.

Heard plans to appeal the jury’s decision in the defamation case.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2022-07-08/amber-heard-faces-lawsuit-insurance-company-johnny-depp-case Amber Heard faces legal battle with insurer over Depp suit

Sarah Ridley

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