Johnny Depp's Legal Team Files Motion Over Statement Made In Amber Heard's Closing Argument
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Johnny Depp's legal team has filed a motion as the jury deliberates in his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard.
The motion tried to argue Amber Heard's legal team made an 'inappropriate argument' during their closing statements last week.
The jury was told that their verdict 'in this case would send a message to every victim of domestic abuse everywhere'.
Depp's team is concerned that that statement was 'inappropriate' because it 'improperly [invited the] jury to focus on [the] larger social issue' of domestic violence.
Judge Penney Azcarate refused to accept the motion and the case is now back in the hands of the jury.
According to FOX5 DC court reporter Katie Barlow, Azcarate said: "I’m not ignoring you but I am kind of ignoring you because the jury has the case now."
It's getting down to the nitty gritty as the jury continues to work out whether Amber Heard defamed Johnny Depp when she penned an op-ed in The Washington Post.
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor sued his ex-wife for $50 million (£38.2 million) over the 2018 article, which was titled: "I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change."
Although the article did not mention Depp by name, his lawyers said it falsely implied he physically and sexually abused the Aquaman actor while they were together.
Heard is also counter-suing Depp over comments previously made by his lawyer Adam Waldman, who allegedly referred to her abuse claims as a 'hoax'.
The jury has already asked the judge a specific question about the op-ed during their deliberations.
They asked if they are to consider just the op-ed headline from The Washington Post or what's in the body of the article.
Judge Penney Azcarate cleared up the question and agreed with both legal teams that jurors must class the 'headline' as the potentially defamatory statement, not the 'article' itself.
Other questions that the jury must answer range from - 'The statement was made or published by Ms. Heard?' to 'The statement has a defamatory implication about Mr. Depp'.
While the final question states: "Do you find that Mr. Depp has proven by clear and convincing evidence that Ms. Heard acted with actual malice?"
The six-week trial is finally in the hands of the jury and there is no time limit for them to make up their minds on whether Johnny Depp was defamed by his ex-wife.