‘Heard slings an exceptional amount of mud’: Depp’s team scoffs at mistrial request
Johnny Depp’s legal team says that his ex-wife Amber Heard “has identified no legitimate basis to set aside” a Virginia jury’s verdict in their bombshell defamation trial and asked the court to reject Heard’s post-trial motions requesting a mistrial.
In a memorandum filed Monday in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County, lawyers for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star said that the verdict “should stand” and that Heard was making “frivolous” arguments and “outlandish requests” following the June 1 decision, which heavily favored Depp.
“Here, the verdict was well supported by the overwhelming evidence, consistent with the law, and should not be set aside,” Depp’s team said in the document, adding, “While Ms. Heard slings an exceptional amount of mud at the wall in the hope that something might stick, the jury’s verdict on damages was perfectly reasonable and supported by the evidence and testimony in this case.”
New York Marine, an insurance company, has sued Amber Heard in a dispute over liability coverage.
It’s the latest twist in the globally watched saga between the Hollywood exes, which has continued well past their six-week trial in the spring.
Monday’s memorandum is Depp’s latest response to Heard’s attempts to reverse the verdict that awarded the Hollywood Vampires rocker $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages after finding that she defamed him in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed. (That award was immediately reduced to $10.35 million after the judge capped the punitive damages at $350,000 per state law.)
Heard, whose description of herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse” in the op-ed was at the heart of Depp’s case, countersued and won one of three claims she brought against him in her $100-million countersuit. (She was awarded $2 million.) Depp has denied Heard’s allegations of physical and sexual abuse and said he never hit his ex, alleging that she was the abuser. He won three claims against his “Rum Diary” co-star.
Heard has already asked a judge to throw out the $10.35 million verdict against her and has announced plans to appeal the verdict, calling it “excessive” and “indefensible.”
Has Amber Heard already said too much about her defamation fight with Johnny Depp? With her full NBC News interview coming tonight, experts weigh in.
Her attorneys argued that the verdict was not supported by the evidence and that one of the jurors in the trial was not supposed to be there.
Heard’s attorney wrote and filed a five-page memo on Friday alleging that juror No. 15 was not the individual summoned in April for the six-week trial, thus asking the Fairfax Circuit Court to declare a mistrial in the case.
They cited “newly discovered facts” and suggested that the juror was a younger individual with the same last name who “apparently” lives at the same address as the person meant to be summoned, AP reported.
“As the Court no doubt agrees, it is deeply troubling for an individual not summoned for jury duty nonetheless to appear for jury duty and serve on a jury, especially in a case such as this,” the filing said.
Amber Heard asks judge to throw out verdict in Depp defamation trial and investigate a juror
Amber Heard’s lawyers have asked a judge to throw out the $10.35 million verdict against her in the defamation case filed by ex-husband Johnny Depp.
But Depp’s team on Monday argued that her claim is “based on pure speculation,” writing that Heard admitted “that she was aware of the purported discrepancy in Juror 15’s birth year from the very start of trial because ‘Juror 15 … was clearly born later than 1945.’”
They argued that the juror who ultimately served “was qualified to serve as a juror in Fairfax County and was vetted” and agreed to by both sets of attorneys during pretrial procedures.
Meanwhile, Heard’s insurance company New York Marine and General Insurance Co. filed a lawsuit against the “Aquaman” actor Friday in federal court, seeking to avoid having to pay her after her unsuccessful defense in the lawsuit.
The insurance company said in the lawsuit that it doesn’t believe it has an ongoing obligation to defend Heard. Another insurance company is also providing coverage to Heard.
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