Amber Heard’s legal professionals have requested a decide to throw out the $10.35 million verdict towards 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 could not have been correctly vetted by the court docket.
In post-trial motions filed Friday, 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 decide to put aside the decision and dismiss Depp’s lawsuit or order a brand new trial. Instantly after the decision, the decide diminished the compensatory damages to $350,000 beneath 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 legal professionals alleged he was defamed by the article although it by no means talked about him by identify.
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The six-week televised trial changed into a spectacle that provided 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 capturing a Pirates of the Caribbean sequel — through which Depp misplaced the tip of his center finger and Heard mentioned she was sexually assaulted with a liquor bottle.
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Depp mentioned he by no means hit Heard and that she was the abuser.
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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.
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Of their post-trial motions, Heard’s authorized workforce argued that to search out that Heard had precise malice, Depp would have needed to present that on the time Heard’s article was printed, she didn’t imagine she had been abused.
“As a substitute, the proof overwhelmingly supported Ms. Heard believed she was the sufferer of abuse by the hands of Mr. Depp,” Heard’s legal professionals say of their movement.
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Heard’s legal professionals additionally ask the decide to research “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 obtainable data.
“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 legal professionals mentioned of their movement.
Depp’s attorneys didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
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The jury additionally awarded Heard $2 million in her counterclaim towards Depp, discovering that that Heard was defamed by one in all Depp’s legal professionals, who accused her of making an in depth hoax that included roughing up the couple’s house to look worse for police.
In some methods, the trial was a replay of a lawsuit Depp filed in the UK towards a British tabloid after he was described as a “spouse beater.” The decide 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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