Depp lawyers scoff at Heard’s ‘frivolous’ mistrial claim

Johnny Depp’s legal team says his ex-wife Amber Heard “has found no legitimate basis to overturn a Virginia jury verdict in her bombshell libel trial” and has asked the court to dismiss Heard’s post-trial motions for mistrial to refuse.

In a memorandum filed Monday in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County, the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star’s attorneys said the ruling “should stand” and that after the Dec. 1 decision, Heard strongly favored Depp.

“Here the verdict was well supported by the overwhelming evidence consistent with the law and should not be overturned,” Depp’s team said in the document, adding, “While Ms Heard is hurling an extraordinary amount of mud at the wall in the hope that something.” liable, the jury’s damages verdict was perfectly reasonable and supported by the evidence and testimonies in this case.”

It’s the latest twist in the globally-watched saga between the Hollywood exes, which continues well beyond their six-week spring trial.

Monday’s memorandum is Depp’s latest response to Heard’s attempts to reverse the verdict that awarded the Hollywood Vampires rocker $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages after she found out she had accused him in an op-ed in the Washington Post from 2018 had defamed. (That price was immediately reduced to $10.35 million after the judge capped punitive damages at $350,000 per state statute.)

Heard, whose description of herself as “a public figure who represents domestic violence” in the op-ed was central to Depp’s case, counterclaimed and won one of three lawsuits she filed in her $100 million counterclaim against him. (She received $2 million.) Depp has denied Heard’s allegations of physical and sexual abuse, saying he never hit his ex and claims she was the perpetrator. He won three lawsuits against his Rum Diary co-star.

Heard has already asked a judge to overturn the $10.35 million judgment against her and announced plans to appeal the judgment, calling it “excessive” and “unjustifiable.”

Her attorneys argued that the verdict was not supported by evidence and that a jury should not be present at the trial.

Heard’s attorney wrote and filed a five-page memo on Friday alleging that juror #15 was not the person summoned for the six-week trial in April, prompting the Fairfax Circuit Court to in to declare wrongdoing in this case.

They cited “newly discovered facts” and suggested the juror was a younger person with the same last name who “apparently” lives at the same address as the person to be subpoenaed, the AP reported.

“As the court no doubt agrees, it is deeply troubling for a person who has not been summoned to serve on a jury to nevertheless appear on jury duty and serve on a jury, particularly in a case like this,” the filing reads.

But Depp’s team argued Monday that her claim was “based on pure speculation,” writing that Heard admitted “that she was aware of the alleged discrepancy in Juror 15’s year of birth from the beginning of the trial because ‘Juror 15 … clearly was born later than 1945.’”

They argued that the juror who ultimately served was “qualified to serve on a Fairfax County jury and was vetted” and agreed upon by both attorneys during the pretrial.

Meanwhile, Heard’s insurance company, New York Marine and General Insurance Co., filed a lawsuit against the “Aquaman” actor in federal court on Friday to avoid paying her after her unsuccessful defense in the lawsuit.

The insurance company said in the lawsuit that it does not believe it remains obligated to defend Heard. Another insurance company also covers Heard.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2022-07-11/johnny-depp-amber-heard-mistrial-memo-response-juror-15 Depp lawyers scoff at Heard’s ‘frivolous’ mistrial claim

Sarah Ridley

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