Johnny Depp Fires Back At Amber Heard’s Attempt To Throw Out Trial Verdict
Johnny Depp and his legal team have issues a statement, firing back at Amber Heard and her attempts to get the verdict from their lawsuit thrown out.
We may no longer have the daily television spectacle that was the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation trial, but the Hollywood superstars are still bickering over legal matters. Just last week, Giant Freakin Robot reported that Heard’s attorneys filed paperwork seeking a dismissal of the verdict and a new trial. Depp (through his legal team) has responded to the request, and it’s clear the Pirates of the Caribbean star is giving no parlay to his ex-wife, insisting that her request is invalid and calling her attempt “baseless and frivolous.”
On June 1, after weeks of testimony and a sideshow outside the courtroom which included supporters, protestors, and even alpacas dressed as pirates, Johnny Depp was awarded $15 million in damages by a Virginia jury after suing for $50 million. The jury ruled in favor of all of his claims that Amber Heard willingly defamed him in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed co-written by the ACLU. In that op-ed, Heard claimed abuse in a relationship, without naming Depp specifically. The jury didn’t buy Heard’s side of the story, and with the verdict now in hand, Heard and her attorneys are now claiming that one of the jurors who decided the case was not eligible to be on the jury. They even suggest the juror may have misrepresented who they are, insinuating they were attempting to sway the decision.
In their response, attorneys for Johnny Depp say Heard’s attorneys knew even before the trial started of a discrepancy in the birth year of a person known only as “Juror 15.” Documents apparently showed the juror in question was born in 1945, but in fact, was born in 1970. We don’t know exactly what sort of documents had the discrepancy, or if it was a simple mistake or deliberate fraud, but we do know that Amber Heard’s team didn’t raise any concerns prior to the start of the trial or the verdict. Two alternate jurors were available to replace any jurors that had to be dismissed, but Heard’s team never objected.
Depp’s team argued that Heard’s claim is a “baseless contention” and frivolous. The law firm of Brown Rudnick argued “Though understandably displeased with the outcome of trial, Ms. Heard has identified no legitimate basis to set aside in any respect the jury’s decision.” Legally, a verdict is thrown out only if a judge finds the verdict is “plainly wrong or without evidence to support it,” as their response notes. Johnny Depp has several factors in his favor, most notably that the response came after a July 1 deadline for Amber Heard to issue a request or appeal.
While Johnny Depp may have to wait a while to get anything from Amber Heard, the Justice League actress is still bringing in a sizeable income. She is reportedly due to be paid $2 million for her role in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, even if she is cut from the final film. She also signed a multi-million dollar book deal, reportedly telling her side of the story about their relationship. She also won $2 million in damages from the verdict, as the jury found one of Depp’s attorneys defamed her. That amount will likely be used against what she owes Depp, with much of the rest being paid by insurance companies. However, that may change, as Heard is currently facing yet another lawsuit. This time, the suit comes from her own insurance company, which claims they are not responsible for paying part of the $15 million verdicts owed to Depp. As far as Depp’s career, he is going to return to acting soon, with his next film La Favorite, in which he plays Louis XV, reportedly coming to Netflix, although it will be 2023 at the earliest.