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Judge Rejects Amber Heard's Request To Set Aside Depp Victory

Jake Massey

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Judge Rejects Amber Heard's Request To Set Aside Depp Victory

Amber Heard's request to set aside Johnny Depp's defamation suit victory has been denied by a judge.

Depp, 59, sued ex-wife Heard, 36, for $50 million (£38.2 million) in a defamation lawsuit over domestic abuse claims she made in a 2018 article in The Washington Post, and she issued a counterclaim for $100m (£76.4m).

The article did not mention Depp by name, yet his lawyers argued it falsely implied he physically and sexually abused the Aquaman actor while they were together.

The jury unanimously found in favour of Depp, finding that what Heard wrote in her op-ed piece for The Washington Post was defamatory, and awarded him $10.35m (£8.2m) damages.

Amber Heard's request to set aside Johnny Depp's victory has been denied. Credit: Alamy
Amber Heard's request to set aside Johnny Depp's victory has been denied. Credit: Alamy

The jury awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages, finding that in her countersuit, she did not prove all elements of defamation.

Heard's legal team filed a motion seeking to have the verdict set aside, or a mistrial declared, citing numerous factors, including an alleged case of mistaken identity regarding one juror.

Now, Judge Penney Azcarate has rejected all of her claims and her call for a retrial.

Azcarate wrote: "The juror was vetted, sat for the entire jury, deliberated, and reached a verdict.

"The only evidence before this court is that this juror and all jurors followed their oaths, the court's instructions, and orders. This court is bound by the competent decision of the jury."

This comes after Depp's lawyers said there was 'no legitimate basis' for Heard's appeals, which 'verge into the frivolous'.

It is understood that Heard still has the ability to appeal against the verdict in the Virginia Court of Appeals and that the issues presented to the appellate court could well be different from those rejected today (Wednesday 13 July).

Depp and Heard began dating after meeting on the set of 2011 film The Rum Diary and got married in 2015. Heard obtained a restraining order against Depp the following year and they finalised their divorce in 2017.

Asked about her decision to file for divorce from Depp in May 2016, Heard said in court: "I knew if I didn't I'd likely not literally survive.

"I was so scared that it was going to end really badly for me and I really didn't want to leave him, I loved him so much.

"I would have done anything but I couldn't do that one thing, I couldn't stay."

In 2020, Depp lost a libel case brought against The Sun over an article in which he was labelled a 'wife beater'.

He has denied all allegations of abuse.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: US News, Celebrity, Johnny Depp, Amber Heard

Jake Massey
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