According to court documents obtained by ET, Heard’s lawyers filed a post-trial motion on Friday claiming that the evidence presented in the case didn’t support the verdict and raising concerns that one of the jurors had not been properly vetted.
In the motion, Heard’s lawyers slammed the jury’s decision to award Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, calling the amount “”excessive” and “indefensible.” It should be noted that the judge in the case reduced the compensatory damages awards to $350,000, per a legal state cap.
Heard, for her part, was awarded $2 million by the jury in compensatory damages for her counterclaim but nothing in punitive damages. The jury found Depp liable after his attorney referred to Heard’s claims as a “hoax.”
The lawsuit, originally filed in 2019, stemmed from a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post, where she claimed to have been the victim of domestic violence, among other allegations. While Depp was not addressed by name, his lawyers argued that the piece defamed him and significantly hurt his career.
The new motions filed by Heart argue that Depp’s legal team did not provide evidence of “actual malice” with regards to her op-ed. Which would mean that Depp’s team was supposed to prove that when Heard wrote the article, she did not believe she had been abused, and intentionally lied about having been abused by Depp.
“Instead, the evidence overwhelmingly supported Ms. Heard believed she was the victim of abuse at the hands of Mr. Depp,” the motion states.
“Because actual malice is a subjective standard, whether Ms. Heard believes she was abused must be judged by her definition of abuse,” the motion argues. “Ms. Heard testified unequivocally that Mr. Depp abused her physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Mr. Depp presented no evidence that Ms. Heard does not believe abuse can be physical, emotional or psychological.”
The motion also asked the judge to look into “potential improper juror service.”
The docs claim that Juror 15 was listed as being born in 1945 in documents given to the legal teams and submitted through the court ahead of the trial. However, the motion claims that publically available information states that Juror 15 was actually born in 1970.
“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,” the motion claims.
The docs argue that “Ms. Heard’s due process was compromised” due to the potential discrepancy, and that this should be taken into account and considered as a grounds for a new trial to be ordered.
For more on the legal battle between Depp and Heard, see the video below.