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Judge rejects Amber Heard’s request to vacate $10 million sentence awarded to Johnny Depp


A Virginia judge on Wednesday rejected a effort by actress Amber Heard vacate the $10 million judgment awarded against you in favor of your ex-husband, Johnny Depp.

Depp won a defamation lawsuit against Heard last month in a high-profile civil lawsuit. Heard won a $2 million lesser judgment in a countersuit he filed against Depp.

Earlier this month, Heard filed a motion to have Depp’s verdict vacated or a mistrial declared. His attorneys cited multiple factors, including an apparent case of mistaken identity with one of the jurors.

In a written order, Judge Penney Azcarate rejected all of Heard’s claims, saying that the jury’s issue was irrelevant and that Heard cannot show that he was biased.

“The jury was investigated, sat for the full jury, deliberated, and reached a verdict. The only evidence before this Court is that this juror and all jurors followed their oaths, the instructions and orders of the Court. This Court is bound by the competent authorities”. jury’s decision,” Azcarate wrote.


Johnny Depp seen in a bar in Newcastle, England, after the verdict of the libel case

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Depp sued for $50 million in Fairfax County after Heard wrote a 2018 Washington Post op-ed on domestic violence in which she referred to herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” The article never mentioned Depp by name, but her lawyers said several passages in the article defamed him by implication referring to highly publicized abuse allegations she made in 2016 when she filed for divorce.

Heard later filed a $100 million countersuit, also for defamation. By the time the case went to trial, his counterclaim had been reduced to a few statements made by one of Depp’s lawyers, who called Heard’s abuse allegations a hoax.

The jury awarded $15 million to Depp and $2 million to Heard in their counterclaim. The $15 million judgment was reduced to $10.35 million because Virginia law limits punitive damages to $350,000.

The judge did not explain the reasons for rejecting Heard’s other claims in Wednesday’s order.

Among other things, Heard argued that the $10 million verdict is not supported by the facts and appears to show that jurors did not focus on the consequences of the 2018 op-ed, as they were supposed to, and in their Instead they only looked extensively at the damage Depp’s reputation suffered as a result of the alleged abuse.


Amber Heard’s attorney Elaine Bredehoft on the verdict and what’s next

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Heard’s lawyers also argued that the verdicts by Depp, on the one hand, and Heard, on the other, are fundamentally absurd.

“The dueling verdicts of the jury are inconsistent and irreconcilable,” their attorneys, Elaine Bredehoft and Benjamin Rottenborn, wrote.

Heard’s attorneys also challenged the verdict on the grounds that one of the seven jurors who decided the case was never called for jury duty. According to court documents, a 77-year-old county resident was served with a jury summons. But the man’s son, who has the same name and lives at the same address, responded to the summons and served in his place.

Heard’s attorneys argued that Virginia law is strict about jurors’ identities, and the case of mistaken identity is grounds for a mistrial. They did not present evidence that the 52-year-old son, identified in court documents only as juror 15, deliberately or insidiously sought to replace his father, but argue that possibility should not be ruled out.

“The court cannot assume, as Mr. Depp asks, that juror 15’s apparently inadequate service was an innocent mistake. It could have been an intentional attempt to serve on the jury of a high-profile case,” Heard’s attorneys wrote.

Heard still has the ability to appeal the verdict to the Virginia Court of Appeals. The issues presented before the appeals court could well be different from the issues that Azacárate rejected on Wednesday.



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