Last Updated on 07/05/2022 by てんしょく飯
Amber Heard, who lost a defamation lawsuit filed by her ex-husband Johnny Depp, is asking the court to set aside the verdict on the grounds of insufficient evidence and jury impersonation.
Amber Heard asks court to set aside verdict in defamation trial
Amber Heard, who lost a lawsuit filed by her ex-husband Johnny Depp for defamation, is asking the court to set aside the verdict on the grounds of insufficient evidence and impersonation of a juror.
In a trial that lasted about six weeks starting in May of this year, the jury found that Amber’s 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post was defamatory and ordered Amber to pay Johnny $10 million in compensatory damages and another $5 million in punitive damages. Amber was ordered to pay $10 million in compensatory damages and another $5 million in punitive damages. In addition, although Johnny won the legal case, Amber also won $2 million in a counterclaim against Johnny.
According to Variety, in papers filed in a Fairfax, Virginia, court on July 1 local time, Amber’s lawyers argued that the verdict was not supported by the evidence. In order for the jury to find that Ms. Heard was malicious, Mr. Depp had to prove that he did not believe that Ms. Heard had been abused at the time the editorial was published, or that he had any doubt as to whether she had been abused. Mr. Depp offered no evidence that Ms. Heard did not believe that she had been abused. To the contrary, the evidence overwhelmingly supports the belief that Ms. Heard was a victim of abuse by Mr. Depp. Therefore, Mr. Depp has failed to meet the legal requirement of showing malice aforethought, and the verdict should be set aside,” he said, urging that the verdict be set aside.
They also countered that the $10 million in damages awarded to Amber by the jury was “inconsistent and irreconcilable” with the jury’s conclusion that both she and Johnny had defamed each other.
Amber’s lawyers also pointed out that one of the jurors may have been an “impersonator” because the court record says he was “born in 1945” but the publicly available information says he was “born in 1970. This discrepancy raises the question of whether juror 15 actually received a jury summons and was properly examined by the court as a juror. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, it may be justified to set aside the verdict in its entirety and remand the matter for a new trial.
Incidentally, in response to Amber’s motion, Ben Chu, Johnny’s lead attorney, told Courthouse News, “We expected this to happen. It’s just long, and there is no substance to it.