Johnny Depp’s Lawyers Claim Amber Heard’s ‘Frivolous’ Attempt at Mistrial Is an ‘Exceptional Amount’ of Mudslinging

Following the outcome of the Johnny Depp defamation trial, Amber Heard’s lawyers are attempting to get a mistrial. They want the verdict tossed, partly because they say the wrong person showed up for jury duty. But Depp’s team called their latest move “frivolous” and chalked it up to an “exceptional amount” of mudslinging.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, shown in court, are still battling over their defamation trial through their lawyers
Amber Heard | Elizabeth Frantz/POOL/AFP/Getty Images

Amber Heard owes Johnny Depp $10.35 million following their defamation trial

Following six weeks of testimony from an intriguing line of witnesses, a jury came back strongly in favor of Depp. But they found he also defamed Heard through one of three specified statements made by his attorney. They ordered him to pay her $2 million in compensation but did not add punitive damages.

On the other hand, the jury found Heard defamed Depp through three statements in an op-ed she authored he claimed were libelous. She never named him in the piece. But their high-profile marriage and shocking split allowed for a general assumption that she referred to her alleged experiences with him.

The jury ordered Heard to pay $10 million in compensatory damages but also added $5 million in punitive damages. However, there’s a cap on punitive awards in Virginia, where the trial took place. So Heard walked away owing Depp $10.35 million before subtracting the amount awarded to her.

But it seems the issue is not at rest. Heard’s team, including Elaine Bredehoft, filed a motion to set aside the verdict. To summarize one part of the argument, juror number 15 was reportedly supposed to have been born in 1945. But they claim to know of publicly available information suggesting the person who sat on the jury was born in 1970. They contend the wrong person responded to the summons, providing grounds for a mistrial.

Johnny Depp’s lawyers disagree with Amber Heard again

Depp’s legal team disagrees with the suggestion that the law demands the verdict be overturned. They also waved off the information presented by Heard’s legal team about the juror in question as “pure speculation.”

“Unsurprisingly, Ms. Heard cites to no case law to support her argument that the service of Juror 15 if he is not the same individual that the Court assigned as Juror 15 somehow compromised her due process and would warrant the drastic remedy of ‘setting aside the verdict and ordering a new trial,’” they responded in opposition to Heard’s post-trial motion, signed by Ben Chew.

Furthermore, they claim ample time was allotted during pre-trial jury vetting for weeding out such an issue. Since that didn’t happen, they argue — if the error wasn’t intentional and did not “probably cause injustice” — case law says it “shall not be cause for summoning a new panel or juror or for setting aside a verdict or granting a new trial.”

They also aimed at Heard’s claim that the verdict was inconsistent and unfounded. “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 the case,” they asserted.

Amber Heard’s insurance company doesn’t want to pay for her Johnny Depp defamation lawyers

Meanwhile, Heard faces another lawsuit and another potential financial hit. New York Marine and General Insurance Co. sued her to free themselves of responsibility for legal debts, citing California law. They insured her through a $1 million policy. But they claim no obligation to cover her “willful acts” (per PEOPLE.)

They contend that Heard willfully wrote her Washington Post op-ed, which was the basis of Depp’s defamation claims against her. Since the jury found Heard defamed Depp with malice, the insurance company wants off the hook for what she owes. They have also requested to be free of responsibility for future costs related to a new trial.

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