Did you somehow think the drama between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp was over? Of course not. It’s probably no surprise that Heard’s lawyers are doing everything they can to get the verdict of her ex-husband’s defamation suit thrown out. But what might be a sobering shock is that they may actually have a valid shot at succeeding.
On Monday, NBC Los Angeles and others reported that Heard’s lawyers filed post-trial motions to have the judgment thrown out for two reasons. First, the lawyers argued that in order for Amber Heard to have been considered guilty of defaming Johnny Depp, she would need to believe her ex-husband innocent of abuse. Heard’s lawyers argue that — regardless of whether not he did abuse her — the evidence presented during the trial proves that she did believe Depp was guilty of abuse. Second, and more interestingly, the lawyers for Heard claim that there are questions of legitimacy about one of the jurors.
Identified publicly only as Juror 15, the citizen in question is not who they claimed to be according to Heard’s lawyers. They claim while Juror 15’s year of birth was listed as 1945 in the documents the lawyers received during jury selection, that they have since discovered proof Juror 15 was born 25 years later in 1970. In their motion, Amber Heard’s lawyers write that this is enough to swipe the verdict out from under Johnny Depp, saying that the alleged 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.”
After the trial for the lawsuit against Amber Heard by Johnny Depp concluded, the former Pirates of the Caribbean star was awarded a total $15 million by the jury — $10 million in compensatory damages, and $5 million in punitive damages. Whether or not his ex-wife’s attempt to overturn the verdict is successful, Depp will almost definitely never see $15 million from Heard.
On one hand, as NPR and others have reported, the $5 million in punitive damages Amber Heard was ordered to pay Johnny Depp was quickly reduced to $350,000, though not out of kindness. Virginia state law caps punitive damages at $350,000. There’s also the question of whether or not Heard can afford the $10.35 million damages that remain. Her lawyers claim she can’t, and estimates of the actress’ net worth after the trial would seem to confirm that.
Whether Amber Heard can afford to pay what the court says she owes Johnny Depp, and whether or not that verdict sticks, for now it does seem like the Aquaman star is destined to be the biggest loser of her long conflict with her ex-husband. In spite of Depp being branded persona non grata in Hollywood for years because of Heard’s allegations, the general consensus among fans and even other celebrities seems to be that the trial has resulted in Depp’s redemption. There are signs studios who had long since written off Depp could be open to welcoming him back, while at the same time there are reports that Heard is about to learn what life has been like for her ex-husband for a while now.