Judge rejects the challenge to the Depp verdict

3 mins read
Judge rejects the challenge to the Depp verdict

Actress Amber Heard’s attempt to get the $10 million judgment she must pay her ex-husband annulled was rejected by a judge.

Judge rejects the challenge to the Depp verdict

Actress Amber Heard’s attempt to have a $10 million judgment against her overturned and a mistrial declared, in favor of her ex-husband Johnny Depp, rejected by a court. In a written ruling on Wednesday, Judge Penney Azcarate dismissed all of Heard’s arguments, beginning with her attorneys’ contention that one juror had purposefully switched places with his father in order to sit on the “high-profile case.”

The attorney said, “The court cannot believe, as Mr. Depp requests, that Juror 15’s evidently unlawful serving was an innocent error.” Although his father and the juror in issue shared a name and an address, the juror in question had answered to a jury summons delivered to his father.

“The juror was vetted, sat for the entire jury, deliberated, and reached a verdict,” Azcarate countered, adding “all jurors followed their oaths, the court’s instructions, and orders. The court is bound by the competent decision of the jury.”

In his libel lawsuit against Heard, whom he claimed had falsely depicted him as a domestic abuser in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed, the jury decided in Depp’s favor last month. He sued for $50 million, and after being granted $15 million in damages, the amount was then reduced to $10 million since punitive damages are legally limited.

Heard countersued Depp for $100 million, alleging that Depp’s attorney had falsely accused her of being the victim of abuse. The actress was finally given $2 million for one incident of claimed defamation, despite the jury’s refusal to examine the most of it.

Before Judge Azcarate on Wednesday, Heard’s attorneys brought up the fact that both parties had received damages awards and referred to the “jury’s dueling findings” as “inconsistent and irreconcilable.” Additionally, they contended that Depp’s reward was given primarily on the harm to his reputation rather than the precise effects of the WaPo op-ed.

In only 15 months after being married in 2015, Heard and Depp filed for divorce after Heard obtained a restraining order against Depp for allegedly abusing her physically. In order to “obtain a premature financial resolution” in the divorce proceedings, Depp claimed she had made up the allegations of violence. Since then, each has accused the other of ruining their careers, with Depp getting fired from the Harry Potter spinoff “Fantastic Beasts” and losing his lead role as Captain Jack Sparrow.

Heard may still appeal the judge’s decision to the Virginia court of appeals despite her inability to persuade the judge on Wednesday.


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