In an appellate temporary filed this week, Johnny Depp’s authorized workforce is arguing that the jury bought it proper in his defamation trial towards Amber Heard—besides when it got here to her countersuit, the place they discovered he had defamed his ex-wife via his lawyer.
“This Court docket ought to reverse the judgment on Ms. Heard’s Counterclaim as to the April 27 Waldman Assertion, however ought to in any other case affirm the judgment in Mr. Depp’s favor,” Depp’s authorized workforce writes within the temporary (Deadline has revealed all the submitting).
The jury awarded Heard $2 million in damages for her countersuit, argued concurrently in court docket, over one in every of three statements that Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman had made. Within the assertion deemed defamatory, which was given to the Day by day Mail in 2020, Waldman mentioned that Heard’s claims of abuse have been a “hoax” (Waldman gave all three statements in gentle of the same defamation case involving Heard that was underway within the UK on the time, which Depp ultimately misplaced). Heard’s workforce referred to as Depp “vicariously liable” for his illustration’s statements, and the jury agreed in that one case.
Depp’s workforce is saying that the jury did the whole lot completely by ruling in favor of Depp’s aspect on the three counts of defamation in his swimsuit—however that it made a mistake in regard to the one countersuit declare. “Ms. Heard introduced no proof at trial that Mr. Depp was personally concerned in directing or making any of the three Waldman Statements,” Depp’s attorneys argue. “Certainly, Mr. Depp testified that he had by no means even seen the Waldman Statements previous to the submitting of the Counterclaim in August of 2020.”
The temporary provides that Heard “didn’t current proof that Mr. Waldman acted with precise malice when he made the April 27 Assertion.”
The damages awarded to Heard for Waldman’s assertion are paltry in comparison with these awarded to Depp, which finally totaled $10.35 million. Within the trial, which Depp filed swimsuit for in 2019 and which ended this previous June, some three years later, the actor claimed a 2018 op-ed written by Heard in assist of the Violence Towards Ladies Act—and in coordination with the ACLU—defamed him in three locations (Heard was an ACLU ambassador on the time).
Within the piece, whereas arguing in favor of reauthorizing the laws, Heard wrote briefly of her private relationship to home abuse however didn’t discuss with Depp by identify. Depp efficiently claimed that readers might infer she was speaking about him in two of its sentences and in its headline, “Amber Heard: I spoke up towards sexual violence—and confronted our tradition’s wrath. That has to alter.”
The jury sided with Depp on all three counts. Heard has since appealed the choice, submitting her 16-point grounds for attraction final month; the submitting additionally addressed the complicated final result that the jury discovered the 2 actors had defamed one another.
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