Amber Heard’s attorneys have requested a choose to throw out the $10.35 million verdict in opposition to her within the defamation case filed by ex-husband Johnny Depp, arguing that the decision was not supported by the proof and that one of many jurors might not have been correctly vetted by the court docket.
In post-trial motions filed Friday (July 1), Heard’s attorneys name the jury’s June 1 award of $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages to Depp “extreme” and “indefensible.” They ask the choose to put aside the decision and dismiss Depp’s lawsuit or order a brand new trial. Instantly after the decision, the choose decreased the compensatory damages to $350,000 underneath a state cap.
Depp sued Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court docket over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Submit describing herself as “a public determine representing home abuse.” Depp’s attorneys alleged he was defamed by the article regardless that it by no means talked about him by title.
The six-week televised trial became a spectacle that supplied a window into their dysfunctional marriage. A lot of the testimony targeted on Heard’s claims that she had been bodily and sexually abused by Depp. Heard described greater than a dozen alleged assaults, together with a struggle in Australia — the place Depp was taking pictures a Pirates of the Caribbean sequel — during which Depp misplaced the tip of his center finger and Heard stated she was sexually assaulted with a liquor bottle.
Depp stated he by no means hit Heard and that she was the abuser.
Depp needed to show that he by no means assaulted Heard, that her op-ed piece defamed him and that she wrote the article with precise malice.
Of their post-trial motions, Heard’s authorized staff argued that to search out that Heard had precise malice, Depp would have needed to present that on the time Heard’s article was revealed, she didn’t consider she had been abused.
“As an alternative, the proof overwhelmingly supported Ms. Heard believed she was the sufferer of abuse by the hands of Mr. Depp,” Heard’s attorneys say of their movement.
Heard’s attorneys additionally ask the choose to analyze “potential improper juror service,” alleging that one of many jurors who was chosen to serve on the jury was listed as being born in 1945 in paperwork given to the attorneys earlier than the jury choice course of, however is listed as being born in 1970 in publicly out there info.
“This discrepancy raises the query whether or not Juror 15 really obtained a summons for jury obligation and was correctly vetted by the Court docket to serve on the jury,” Heard’s attorneys stated of their movement.
Depp’s attorneys didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
The jury additionally awarded Heard $2 million in her counterclaim in opposition to Depp, discovering that that Heard was defamed by one among Depp’s attorneys, who accused her of making an in depth hoax that included roughing up the couple’s condominium to look worse for police.
In some methods, the trial was a replay of a lawsuit Depp filed in the UK in opposition to a British tabloid after he was described as a “spouse beater.” The choose in that case dominated within the newspaper’s favor in 2020 after discovering that Heard was telling the reality in her descriptions of abuse.
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