Amber Heard is attempting to appeal or overturn the June judgment in the high-profile defamation case she and her ex-husband Johnny Depp were involved in. Less than a month after losing the defamation trial, Ms Heard’s attorneys asked a Fairfax County Circuit Court judge on Friday to set aside the verdict against her or order a fresh trial, according to Court House News.
The defence team for Ms Heard contended that the award, which totalled more than $10 million, lacked sufficient justification in a memorandum. They disputed Mr Depp’s claim that the comments made by Ms Heard in an op-ed caused him to lose his part in Pirates of the Caribbean. They further alleged that at least one juror had not undergone the required screening by court personnel.
A six-week trial between the two stars from early April to early June centred on Mr Depp’s claims that a 2018 op-ed that ran in The Washington Post under Ms Heard’s byline had defamed him. In the piece, Ms Heard detailed how she had come to be associated with domestic violence and specifically mentioned the time two years prior, in 2016, when she filed a temporary restraining order against Mr Depp.
In a split decision last month, a civil jury of seven people found that Ms Heard had defamed Mr Depp in the op-ed.
According to the ruling, Ms Heard was ordered to pay $15 million in punitive and compensatory damages to Mr Depp. Ms Heard received $2 million in punitive damages after it was determined that one of Mr Depp’s attorneys had defamed her.
The Aquaman actress’ legal team argued a variety of flaws with the decision in the extensive file on Friday, including weak legal reasoning, an inadequately screened jury, and overly awarded damages.
The appeal was “what we expected, just longer, no more substantive,” Ben Chew, the attorney in charge of Mr Depp’s legal team, told Courthouse News.
Mr Depp previously filed a libel lawsuit against The Sun in the UK after the publication called the actor a wife-beater. He lost that case. Separately, he faces a lawsuit in Los Angeles by a location manager for a movie, who claims the actor had punched him.