Amber Heard files to APPEAL verdict in defamation case against Johnny Depp

Amber Heard files to APPEAL verdict in defamation case against Johnny Depp 2
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Amber Heard has officially filed to appeal her defamation case against Johnny Depp, nearly two months after she was ordered to pay her ex-husband over $10million in damages. 

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Lawyers representing the actress, 36, filed a notice to appeal the civil case on Thursday in Fairfax County, Virginia, court records obtained by DailyMail.com reveal. 

The move comes just a week after Heard was denied a request for a new trial. 

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In June, Heard was ordered to pay Depp $10.35 million in damages at the end of an explosive six-week trial, when a jury ruled she had defamed the Pirates of the Caribbean star in a newspaper opinion piece published in 2018. 

Amber Heard has officially filed to appeal the ruling in her defamation case against Johnny Depp

Amber Heard has officially filed to appeal the ruling in her defamation case against Johnny Depp

In June, the actress was ordered to pay Depp $10.35 million in damages

In June, the actress was ordered to pay Depp $10.35 million in damages

Depp, 59, was awarded $15million in total – $10million in compensatory damages and $5million in punitive damages. 

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The judge later capped the damages at the state’s maximum of $350,000 leaving Depp with a total of $8.35million.

In contrast, Heard won just one of her three countersuit claims, which related to statements made by Depp’s lawyer suggesting she and friends had trashed their apartment before calling the police out. 

The jury ultimately awarded her just $2million in compensatory damages out of the $100million she was seeking, and zero dollars in punitive damages.

Earlier this month, Heard’s attorneys had asked the judge in the case to throw out the decision and declare a mistrial, arguing that one of the jurors on the case should not have been eligible to serve because his summons was intended for his father, who had the same name and lived at the same address.

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In a written order last Wednesday, Judge Penny Azcarate ruled that there was ‘no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing’ by the juror and that the jury’s verdict should stand.

She also noted that both sides had questioned and accepted all jurors at the start of the trial.

‘Due process was guaranteed and provided to all parties in this litigation,’ Azcarate wrote.

In the 43-page memorandum filed July 1, Heard’s lawyers had argued that the verdict – and the $10million in damages she now owes Depp – should be tossed out on the grounds that during the trial, Depp ‘proceeded solely on a defamation by implication theory, abandoning any claims that Ms. Heard’s statements were actually false.’

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Depp’s lead attorney, Ben Chew, responded to the motion in a statement to Courthouse News, saying ‘What we expected, just longer, no more substantive.’

Heard has also said that she is unable to pay the $10.35million in damages she owes Depp. 

Though she has previously indicated that she wants to appeal the verdict, to do so she would need to post bond of the full damages. 

It is likely that this latest motion was an attempt part to circumvent those requirements and still take try for a new verdict. 

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Last month, following his victory in his defamation trial against Heard, Johnny confirmed he has teamed up with the musician to record a 13-track collection (pictured in May)

Last month, following his victory in his defamation trial against Heard, Johnny confirmed he has teamed up with the musician to record a 13-track collection (pictured in May)

Amber Heard files to APPEAL verdict in defamation case against Johnny Depp 3

The motion cast doubt on the validity of the jury selection process, pointing out a juror – identified as Juror 15 – whose birth year was listed as 1945 in court records. 

The filing argued that Juror 15 ‘was clearly born later than 1945. Publicly available information demonstrates that he appears to have been born in 1970.’

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‘This 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.’

‘It appears his identity could not have been verified,’ the filing reads. 

Depp, 59, had sued Heard and argued that she defamed him when she called herself ‘a public figure representing domestic abuse’ in an opinion piece published in The Washington Post. Depp denied hitting Heard, 36, and said she was the one who turned violent in their relationship.

Heard countersued, saying Depp smeared her when his lawyer called her accusations a ‘hoax.’ The jury awarded Heard $2 million in damages on one of her counterclaims. Heard said she only struck Depp in defense of herself or her sister.

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