Amber Heard’s attorneys requested a Fairfax County Circuit Court judge on Friday to overturn a jury’s judgment that the actress defamed her ex-husband, Johnny Depp.
Heard’s legal team claimed in a 43-page brief that the award of more than $10 million was unsupported by evidence. They disputed Depp’s claim that he lost his position in “Pirates of the Caribbean” due to Heard’s comments in an op-ed. They further claimed that at least one juror was not adequately screened by court personnel.
The counsel requested the court to vacate the decision in Depp’s favor, dismiss the complaint, or order a new trial.
According to Elaine Bredehoft, Heard’s primary attorney, Depp “proceeded solely on a defamation by implication theory, abandoning any claims that Ms. Heard’s statements were actually false,”
In an email, Ben Chew, who heads Depp’s legal team, dismissed Heard’s motion as “what we expected, just longer, no more substantive.”
A trial pitting the two actors spanned six weeks from April until early June and focused on Depp’s allegations that he was defamed by a 2018 op-ed that appeared in The Washington Post under Heard’s byline. In the article, Heard recounted that she had become a public figure representing domestic abuse and pinpointed a period two years earlier — 2016, when Heard took out a temporary restraining order against Depp.
In the verdict, the jurors found that Heard defamed Depp with three statements in the op-ed — one of which was a headline that Heard didn’t write. According to the court brief, “Ms. Heard never even became aware of the headline until Mr. Depp filed the lawsuit against her.”
The list of prospective jurors says Juror 15’s birth year is 1945 but Heard points out J15 “was clearly born later than 1945. Publicly available information demonstrates that he appears to have been born in 1970.” pic.twitter.com/6aE91m45Jx— Christopher C. Melcher (@CA_Divorce) July 2, 2022
Heard’s lawyer concludes: “This discrepancy raises the question whether Juror 15 actually received a summons for jury duty and was properly vetted by the court to serve on the jury.” She claims Juror 15 may be an impostor. pic.twitter.com/iNh9LWFUAH— Christopher C. Melcher (@CA_Divorce) July 2, 2022
In a footnote, Heard’s attorney acknowledges that error in the jury list is not a basis for a new trial or appeal. But argues it does anyway. pic.twitter.com/OhIKKHiFk3— Christopher C. Melcher (@CA_Divorce) July 2, 2022
The age discrepancy was clear according to the motion, so why not raise it immediately? The motion concedes the stated birth year 1945 was shown to the parties during jury selection. The motion is silent whether Heard objected.— Christopher C. Melcher (@CA_Divorce) July 2, 2022
The 43 page brief is linked below. It’s a long rehash of failed arguments. https://t.co/7oNY1mcp7Y— Christopher C. Melcher (@CA_Divorce) July 2, 2022
Judge A said she was not interested in further motions. This seems to be Heard’s attempt to make her arguments part of the record for appeal.— Christopher C. Melcher (@CA_Divorce) July 2, 2022
AH claims Juror 15 got a summons meant for someone else and reported for duty, when many people look for reasons to avoid jury service. None of those who received a summons would know they might be picked tor the Depp-Heard trial. Her theory makes no sense.— Christopher C. Melcher (@CA_Divorce) July 2, 2022