Attorneys for Johnny Depp have asked a Virginia judge to deny Amber Heard’s post-trial motions asking for a mistrial, calling the legal arguments “frivolous.”
Heard and Depp were both found liable for defamation in their lawsuits against each other last month. The jury initially awarded $15 million in damages to Depp and only $2 million to Heard. Though, because punitive damages in the state of Virginia are capped at $350,000, the judge reduced Depp’s $5 million in punitive damages to that amount.
Attorneys for Heard asked the court to declare a mistrial and order a new trial in a motion filed last week.
Depp’s attorneys argued in a memo filed Monday that a judge cannot arbitrarily substitute their judgment for that of a jury,
The memo also said Heard’s contention that the damages awarded to her ex-husband are excessive and unsupported by the evidence is “baseless.”
“While Ms. Heard slings an exceptional amount of mud at the wall in the hope that something might stick, the jury’s verdict on damages was perfectly reasonable and supported by the evidence and testimony in this case,” Depp’s legal team states in the memo.
Attorneys for Heard also claimed in a court filing last week that the information on the jury panel list sent to counsel ahead of trial does not appear to match the demographics of one of the jurors, compromising Heard’s rights to due process.
Heard waived her right to challenge the accuracy of the jury panel information because her team didn’t raise the issue with the court at the time, Depp’s attorneys argue.
“Mr. Depp respectfully requests that this Court deny Ms. Heard’s frivolous motion in its entirety and reject her outlandish requests to set aside the jury verdict, dismiss the complaint, or, in the alternative, order a new trial and investigate Juror 15,” the memo says.
Depp sued Heard for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Though Depp was not named in the article, he claimed it cost him lucrative acting roles.
Heard countersued Depp, to whom she was married from 2015-2016 before divorcing, for defamation over statements Depp’s attorney made about her abuse claims.
After several weeks of testimony, the jury found that Heard defamed Depp in three separate statements in The Washington Post piece, and that Depp defamed Heard with one statement his attorney made.