The shocking development was revealed Monday morning and came more than two months after Heard was found to have defamed ex-husband Johnny Depp by a Virginia jury and ordered to pay the 59-year-old actor $10.4 million.
Since the verdict was announced on June 1, both Heard and Depp’s legal teams have been working to file appeals regarding the case’s verdicts.
Now, Heard has fired her main attorney – Elaine Bredehoft – and hired David L. Axelrod and Jay Ward Brown of Ballard Spahr to lead her appeal.
"When it comes to protecting the fundamental right of Freedom of Speech, we look at the jury’s decision – to paraphrase a famous quote – not 'as the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning,’” a spokesperson for Heard told RadarOnline.com Monday morning.
“A different court warrants different representation,” the spokesperson added, “particularly as so much new evidence is now coming to light."
Axelrod and Brown, via a joint statement of their own, further confirmed they would be representing Heard following Bredehoft’s departure from the 36-year-old actress’s legal counsel.
“We welcome the opportunity to represent Ms. Heard in this appeal as it is a case with important First Amendment implications for every American,” Axelrod and Brown said in a joint statement.
“We’re confident the appellate court will apply the law properly without deference to popularity, reverse the judgment against Ms. Heard, and reaffirm the fundamental principles of Freedom of Speech,” the two attorneys added.
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Ben Rottenborn, who has served as a co-counsel to Heard, will remain in his role despite Bredehoft’s departure.
“This is the perfect time to pass the baton,” Bredehoft said in a statement of her own on Monday. “I have pledged to Amber and her appellate team my complete cooperation and assistance as they move forward on a path towards success.”
"We believe the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the First Amendment,” a spokesperson for Heard said on July 21. “We are therefore appealing the verdict.”
“While we realize today's filing will ignite the Twitter bonfires, there are steps we need to take to ensure both fairness and justice," Heard’s team added.