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Amber Heard asked a judge on Friday to deliver the verdict against her – arguing that the $10.35million judgment in favor of Johnny Depp was not supported by the evidence presented during the sensational six-week trial.
In a 43-page motion, Heard’s attorneys, Elaine Bredehoft and Ben Rottenborn, argued that Judge Penney Azcarate should overturn the judgment and dismiss the suit in Fairfax County District Court in Virginia.
“The verdict is excessive in law in light of the evidence and the law, and should be overturned,” they wrote.
A jury awarded Depp a $10.35 million finding that his 36-year-old ex-wife defamed him and caused him to lose business opportunities by writing a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post calling herself ” public figure representing domestic violence”.
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He claimed three statements in the editorial were defamatory – including the headline referring to Heard as a sexual assault survivor.
Heard countersued Depp, 59, and won $2 million over his claim that a statement made by his lawyer, Adam Waldman, to the press calling his allegations a “hoax” was defamatory.
Heard’s team’s latest query alleges Depp failed to prove the op-ed cost the actor his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ six, noting no contract had been signed.
“Mr. Depp presented no evidence of any monetary damages suffered,” the ‘Aquaman’ actress’ attorneys wrote.
AMBER HEARD IS OFFICIALLY ON THE HOOK FOR $10.35 MILLION AFTER JUDGMENT ENTERS
Additionally, the attorneys argued that Depp improperly extended the damages period back to six years. The trial was scheduled to focus from December 18, 2018 – when the op-ed was published – to November 2, 2020, they wrote.
But, in the case before the jury, Depp’s attorneys walked back the restraining order Heard filed on May 27, 2016, accusing him of punching her in the face with a cellphone, which kicked off the years-long public battle between the warring exes. .
Meanwhile, Azcarate has barred jurors from hearing that a UK judge justified 12 acts of domestic violence against Heard in 2020, after a high-profile libel trial in London. Depp had sued the publisher of The Sun newspaper for calling him a wife beater and lost.
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“The exclusion of the British judgment, coupled with Mr Depp’s constant plea to the jury to go back six years, exonerate him and restore his reputation, resulted in an indefensible verdict of compensatory damages of 10 million dollars and a punitive damages verdict of $5 million,” the attorneys wrote.
Azcarate reduced the amount of punitive damages to $350,000 – the maximum under Virginia law.
The motion also argued that Depp had failed to prove “actual malice”, namely that Heard did not believe or had serious doubts that her ex-husband had abused her when the op-ed was published.
The filing significantly overhauled the defense case that Heard’s team presented at trial, which the jury rejected. Heard said she plans to appeal, and the latest submission is the first step in that process.
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Depp is scheduled for another civil trial in July in Los Angeles. A stage manager on the set of “City of Lies” has filed a lawsuit accusing Depp of punching him in 2017.