Amber Heard‘s legal team has asked for the decision in the defamation lawsuit she brought against Johnny Depp to be reversed. Alternatively, they have urged that the case be retried with all parties present.
The attorneys for the Aquaman actor stated in a document submitted on Friday that there were several problems with the verdict handed down on June 1. Some of these problems include excessive damages being granted to Depp and inadequate legal reasoning.
An accusation is made in the document that Heard's lead attorney Elaine Bredehoft filed in the Virginia court that one juror is 25 years younger than he had previously claimed to be. This allegation is one of the many odd facts brought to the Court.
The juror in question was singled out by their number in the filing, which noted, “The year 1945 was the year that Juror 15 was born. However, Juror 15's birth year could not have been earlier than 1945. According to evidence accessible to the public, the most likely came into the world in 1970.”
According to the complaint, the following sentence said that “this inconsistency raises the issues whether Juror 15 truly got a summons for jury service and was properly vetted by the Court to serve on the jury.”
By the motion, the office of the court clerk is required to check the identities of prospective jurors, but “it appears his identification could not have been validated” in this particular instance.
Ms. Heard was “compromised” in her due process if a juror who sat as Juror 15 was not actually on the venire [the panel from which a jury is picked] and if the Court Clerk's office did not check his identity. “
There is a substantial reason why the Virginia Code does not allow those not on the venire to serve on juries… In any case, but especially with as much public attention as this one, it is of the utmost importance to make sure that no individual who is not included on the venire is allowed to serve on the jury, regardless of whether this was done accidentally or on purpose.
“In this case, the evidence demonstrates that Juror 15 was several decades younger than the individual listed on the jury panel list, which raises the question of whether or not they were the same person.
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“Therefore, Ms. Heard requests that the Court Courte whether Juror 15 was lawfully part of the venire and if, before jury duty, Juror 15 confirmed his information in the manner provided by [Virginia Code]. Ms. Heard further asks the Court to countermine whether Juror 15 was legitimately part of the venire.
“In addition, Ms. Heard begs that this Court take appropriate action based upon the outcomes of the inquiry, including, if warranted, ordering a new trial,”
As of April, Heard was engaged in a court battle with Depp, who had filed a $50 million lawsuit against her in response to an opinion piece that she had written for The Washington Post in 2018 in which she stated that she was a domestic abuse survivor. The court battle was scheduled to last for six weeks.
During the hearings, Heard and Depp leveled several charges against one another, including allegations of domestic abuse. These allegations, which each star passionately rejected during their testimony, were brought up during the proceedings.
After determining that Heard's allegation was false and defamatory, a jury handed down their decision on June 1. It awarded Depp $15 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages because the state of Virginia places a cap on the amount of money that may be awarded in punitive damages, the court lCourtd the amount to $350,000.
Heard, who had countersued for $100 million, was given $2 million after it was discovered that Adam Waldman, who had been Depp's previous attorney, had made defamatory statements about her.
The document submitted on July 1 on Heard's behalf questioned Depp's claims against his ex-wife. It stated that they “proceeded solely on a defamation by implication theory, abandoning any claims that Ms. Heard's statements were false.” This was in response to Depp's “abandoned any claims that Ms. Heard's statements were false.”
According to Bredehoft, Depp's legal team stated that it would focus on the period after Heard's 2018 op-ed for the Post was published; however, it enlarged that window to cover words and actions as far back as 2016.
The motion came to a close with Heard requesting that the judge “respectfully urges this Court to set aside the jury judgment in favor of Mr. Depp and against Ms. Heard in its entirety, dismiss the Complaint, or in the alternative, order a new trial.”
“Furthermore, Ms. Heard requests that this Court examine the possibility of unlawful jury service and take the necessary action required by the results of the inquiry,” the motion reads.
Ben Chew, who is in charge of Depp's legal team, told Courthouse News Service in an email that Heard's request was “what we expected, but lengthier, no more substantial.” This was in response to the document that was recently filed.
In the libel action that Depp brought in 2020 against the British newspaper The Sun, which had called the actor a “wife-beater” about the charges of domestic abuse that Heard had made against him during the process of being divorced from him in 2016, Depp was unsuccessful.
During the three-week trial that took place in London, Depp constantly denied ever having been aggressive to Heard. However, the presiding judge concluded that the newspaper's charges were “basically accurate.”