After Heard’s lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, revealed that the Aquaman star cannot pay Depp the court-ordered $10.4m (A$14.3m, £8.2m) in damages, Virginia appeals barrister Steven Emmert said Depp could explore other options to recoup costs.
“If she doesn’t have the money, then her recourse, while she pursues an appeal, is to try to execute on property that she owns,” he told the New York Post.
This would mean Depp would have to serve his ex-wife with a summons to determine where his current assets are.
“[This is] where you summon the debtor to appear in court and his lawyer will ask him questions saying “what property do you own, what real estate do you own, what vehicles do you own, what jewelry do you own, what art collections ‘” Emmert told the Post.
He added: “[And] anything they could use to seize and auction off to try and repay and ultimately repay that judgment.”
Heard was ordered to pay Depp $10 million (A$13.7m, £7.9m) in compensatory damages and $5m (A$6.8m, 3, £9million) in punitive damages in June.
However, Judge Penney Azcarate reduced punitive costs to the Virginia cap by $350,000 (AUD481,000, £278,000) in accordance with the state legal limit.
This brings the total Heard has to pay Depp to $10.35m (A$14.2m, £8.2m).
Depp was also ordered to pay Heard $2m (A$2.7m, £1.5m) for a counterclaim filed by Heard.
The damages come after the high-profile libel trial in which a jury found Heard defamed her husband in a Washington Post op-ed titled: ‘I spoke out against sexual violence – and I faced our anger culture. This needs to change.
In the new filing, Bredehoft argued that the sum Heard must pay is “excessive in law, as there is no evidence to support the verdict.”