A Virginia decide on Wednesday rejected an effort and hard work by actress Amber Heard to set apart the $10 million judgment awarded from her in favor of her ex-spouse, Johnny Depp.
Depp gained a defamation accommodate against Listened to final thirty day period in a significant-profile civil trial. Heard received a scaled-down, $2 million judgment on a counterclaim she submitted versus Depp.
Earlier this thirty day period, Listened to submitted a motion looking for to have Depp’s verdict set aside, or have a mistrial declared. Her attorneys cited various components, which includes an apparent scenario of mistaken id with a single of the jurors.
In a created purchase, Judge Penney Azcarate turned down all of Heard’s statements and claimed the juror challenge specifically was irrelevant and that Read cannot show she was prejudiced.
“The juror was vetted, sat for the whole jury, deliberated, and reached a verdict. The only proof prior to this Courtroom is that this juror and all jurors adopted their oaths, the Court’s instructions, and orders. This Court docket is sure by the capable decision of the jury,” Azcarate wrote.
Depp sued for $50 million in Fairfax County following Read wrote a 2018 op-ed piece in The Washington Publish about domestic violence in which she referred to herself as “a general public determine representing domestic abuse.” The posting in no way outlined Depp by identify, but his legal professionals claimed a number of passages in the post defamed him by implication by referring to highly publicized abuse allegations she manufactured in 2016 as she submitted for divorce.
Listened to then submitted a $100 million counterclaim, also for defamation. By the time the scenario went to demo, her counterclaim had been whittled down to a couple statements produced by a person of Depp’s attorneys, who termed Heard’s abuse allegations a hoax.
The jury awarded $15 million to Depp and $2 million to Heard on her counterclaim. The $15 million judgment was lessened to $10.35 million due to the fact Virginia legislation caps punitive damages at $350,000.
The choose did not spell out rationale for rejecting Heard’s other promises in Wednesday’s purchase.
Among the other issues, Read argued that the $10 million verdict is unsupported by the info, and seems to show that jurors unsuccessful to emphasis on the fallout from the 2018 op-ed piece — as they ended up meant to do — and in its place just seemed broadly at the injury Depp’s name experienced as a result of the alleged abuse.
Heard’s legal professionals also argued argue that the verdicts for Depp on just one hand and Heard on the other are basically nonsensical.
“The jury’s dueling verdicts are inconsistent and irreconcilable,” her lawyers, Elaine Bredehoft and Benjamin Rottenborn, wrote.
Heard’s legal professionals also challenged the verdict on the foundation that one particular of the seven jurors who determined the circumstance was never ever summoned for jury obligation. According to court papers, a 77-calendar year-previous county resident obtained a jury summons. But the man’s son, who has the identical name and lives at the identical address, responded to the summons and served in his stead.
Heard’s attorneys argued that Virginia law is rigorous about juror identities, and the circumstance of mistaken identification is grounds for a mistrial. They introduced no proof that the 52-year-outdated son, identified in court docket papers only as Juror #15, purposefully or insidiously sought to swap his father, but they argue that likelihood should not be discounted.
“The Court are unable to presume, as Mr. Depp asks it to, that Juror 15’s apparently inappropriate company was an harmless error. It could have been an intentional endeavor to serve on the jury of a large-profile situation,” Heard’s lawyers wrote.
Heard however has the potential to attraction the verdict to the Virginia Courtroom of Appeals. The issues offered to the appellate court could effectively be diverse from the concerns Azacarate rejected Wednesday.