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Amber Heard is seeking an appeal or to have the verdict thrown out of the recent defamation lawsuit between her and her ex-husband Johnny Depp.
The trial between the two actors ran for six weeks and centred on a 2016 op-ed Heard had written for The Washington Post, in which she wrote that she had become a public figure representing domestic abuse.
Depp, who wasn’t named in the article, claimed that it falsely implied he physically and sexually abused the Aquaman actress while they were together.
The jury of seven ruled in Depp’s favour and he was awarded $15m in damages.
A counterclaim brought by Heard against one of Depp’s lawyers was also upheld, and Heard was awarded $2m in damages.
In Friday’s 48-page filing, Heard’s attorney Elaine Bredehoft claimed that Depp’s team ‘proceeded solely on a defamation by implication theory, abandoning any claims that Ms Heard’s statements were actually false’ – going on to say that due to ‘inconsistent verdicts’ the judgement should be set aside or a new trial ordered.
It claims that one of the three statements that was found to be defamatory – the headline of the article – wasn’t written by Heard. Depp’s lawyers argued that as Heard had retweeted the article the day after publication this was considered ‘actionable republication’, but Friday’s filing claims it should be dismissed as ‘nothing in Ms Heard’s tweet constituted a legally enforceable republication’.
The filing also asks the court to investigate whether one juror improperly served on the jury for the trial.
It says that Juror 15 appears to have a 25-year difference in age between their date of birth on court documents and in publicly available information.
The filing claims that on the court list the juror has 1945 and his year of birth, but claims he ‘was clearly born later than 1945. Publicly available information demonstrates that he appears to have been born in 1970. This discrepancy raises the question whether Juror 15 actually received a summons for jury duty and was properly vetted by the court to serve on the jury’.
The motion also claims the amount of compensation awarded to Depp was ‘indefensible’ and excessive.
In response, leader of Depp’s legal team Ben Chew said the appeal was ‘what we expected’.
He told Courthouse News, it was ‘what we expected, just longer, no more substantive’.
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