Amber Heard’s attorneys are not giving up without a fight – even after they lost the defamation trial between the actress and her ex-husband, Johnny Depp. They have requested that the defamation verdict be tossed out or that they go to trial for a second time.
Amber Heard’s Lawyers Want The Defamation Verdict Thrown Out
According to Amber Heard’s attorneys, the judgment against her during the famous Heard-Depp defamation trial was unjust, unfounded, and needs to be reconsidered. They have asked that it be entirely set aside or that they go to trial again. They say that the case was unsupported by evidence. (1)
In June, a jury found Heard liable for three claims of defamation with a more than $10 million award that she needs to pay to Depp. Her lawyers wrote up a 43-page memorandum with their reasons why and their request to have it overturned.
Many of their arguments were similar to those presented in the trial. The primary being that Depp was false in claiming that the reason he lost his role in Pirates of The Caribbean was because of her 2018 Washinton Post Op-Ed. They said that Depp’s case was based on implication and not actual, tangible facts.
“(Depp’s case) proceeded solely on a defamation by implication theory, abandoning any claims that Ms. Heard’s statements were actually false” Heard’s lawyers stated.
They also claimed that one of the courts did not properly vet one of the serving jurors. This is because their birth year was listed as prior to 1945, which is not true. They said that information that is publicly available shows that he was in fact born in 1970.
“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.” they explained.
In the memorandum, Heard’s lawyers mentioned various reasons as to why the verdict was not correct and should be thrown out. As already stated, the first of these was their claimed lack of “pecuniary damages” to Depp. That is to say, the loss of his role as Captain Jack Sparrow and the money that would have come with it was not the fault of his ex-wife. The second was the matter of the Jury not being properly vetted. (2)
The third claim is that Depp’s lawyers used evidence from 2016 against Heard during the trial. Heard wrote the op-ed in 2018. They say that this means that the evidence from before the article should not be included or entitle Depp to any damages.
In their fourth claim, they said that Depp should not be entitled to any “damages for alternative causes”. They are referring to articles written about Heard’s op-ed and its contents, in particular those published in a publication called The Sun.
Finally, they say that Virginia case law, which is where they conducted the trial, supports setting aside damages judgments that are excessive. As previously mentioned, the lawyers are suggesting that the damages the court awarded Depp against Heard are excessive and unnecessary.
The Judge Isn’t Interested
Judge Penney Azcarate has already said that she is not interested in scheduling more hearings for this case. On June 24 she put the final judgment in the court record, despite Heard’s lawyer arguing for further hearings. She also told Heard’s lawyers that Amber Heard would have to pay an $8.35 million bond with an annual six percent interest before any appeal could or would move forward. Heard’s lawyers said that she does not have the money to meet that bond, nor does she have the money to pay Depp.
Both the $10 million judgment against Heard as well as the $2 million dollars one awarded against Depp are already registered with the court. This means that it is highly unlikely that any type of appeal or retrial will happen. It also means that it is unlikely that the two actors will reach any kind of out-of-court settlement.
Johnny Depp’s lawyers gave some hints after the trial that perhaps Depp would be willing to forgo his share of the award. His goal was primarily to clear his name more than any monetary win. This, however, was before Heard and her lawyers continued to persist with the case. Heard has continued to repeat her claims against her famous ex-husband since the culmination of the trial. She even gave a lengthy, three part interview on NBC about it. Considering all of this, perhaps Depp’s opinion may have changed, as well, regarding the money he is technically owed. Still, Heard’s lawyers don’t seem prepared to quit any time soon.
Keep Reading: The Truth About Johnny Depp’s Rumored $301 Million Pirates of the Caribbean Return