UPDATED 7/13, 3:24 p.m. ET: Amber Heard just endured another legal loss against Johnny Depp.
According to The Guardian, a Virginia judge rejected the actress’ motion to dismiss the $10 million verdict in favor of Depp. Legal documents obtained by the outlet show Judge Penney Azcarate wasn’t persuaded by the claim that that one of the juror’s identities had been mistaken. Azcarate determined the verdict still stands, as “there is no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing” in the original trial.
“The juror was vetted, sat for the entire jury, deliberated, and reached a verdict,” Azcarate wrote. “The only evidence before this court is that this juror and all jurors followed their oaths, the court’s instructions, and orders. This court is bound by the competent decision of the jury.”
See the original story below.
Amber Heard’s attorneys filed a motion requesting the court throw out the verdict in her defamation trial against ex-husband Johnny Depp, claiming the decision was not supported by sufficient evidence, People reports.
Heard’s legal team alleges Depp’s $50 million defamation lawsuit against her was rooted in a 2019 Washington Post op-ed she had written where she opens up about being in an abusive relationship, but doesn’t mention the Pirates of the Caribbean star by name. The filing argues Depp “proceeded solely on a defamation by implication theory, abandoning any claims that Ms. Heard’s statements were actually false.”
Heard’s lawyers took issue with Depp being awarded $10.35 million in damages, compared to the $2 million she received, arguing that the decision was “inconsistent and irreconcilable” if the jury ultimately believed both of them defamed one another.
“Mr. Depp presented no evidence that Ms. Heard did not believe she was abused,” the filing reads, per Variety. “Therefore, Mr. Depp did not meet the legal requirements for actual malice, and the verdict should be set aside.” One day after the verdict, Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, appeared on the Today show and expressed a desire to appeal.
“She has some excellent grounds for it. … She was demonized here. A number of things were allowed in this court that should not have been allowed, and it caused the jury to be confused,” Bredehoft said.
The filing also calls on the court to investigate one of the jurors, claiming the individual who served during the trial “was clearly born later than 1945,” which was the birth year of the person summoned for duty. Her lawyer claims public information shows the juror in question was born in 1970.