Amber Heard has asked a Virginia judge to toss her losing verdict in the defamation lawsuit filed by ex-husband Johnny Depp — claiming the evidence doesn’t hold up.
Lawyers for Heard, who was found guilty of three defamation claims filed by Depp, claimed in a 43-page motion filed last week that the judgment wasn’t supported by the evidence during the former couple’s blockbuster trial.
The document claims Depp “proceeded solely on a defamation by implication theory, abandoning any claims that Ms. Heard’s statements were actually false,” the papers filed Friday claim.
Heard’s attorneys also argue that Juror 15 on the panel may have even been selected illegally by giving the wrong birthdate during jury selection — 1945 instead of the actual year of 1970.
“This discrepancy raises the question [of] whether Juror 15 actually received a summons for jury duty and was properly vetted by the court to serve on the jury,” the lawyers’ motion said.
It is unknown if the juror actually deliberated on the case.
Depp, 58, sued his ex claiming he damaged his career in a 2018 op-ed piece in The Washington Post alleging she was a victim of domestic abuse — and leaving little doubt the reference was to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise star.
Depp attorney Ben Chew emailed Courthouse News that Heard’s filing was “what we expected, just longer, more substantive.”
In the verdict last month, the jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages — although Virginia law restricted the total to $10.3 million.
Heard, who countersued, was awarded $2 million for one of her claims.
But Chew and the “Aquaman” actress’s legal team argued in the new court filing that Depp failed to prove that the actor’s career and reputation were impacted by Heard’s op-ed article.
“Mr. Depp presented no evidence of any pecuniary damages suffered in the limited December 18, 2018, through November 2, 2020 timeframe as a result of the Op-Ed,” the motion said. “There was no evidence of any project or lost commercial opportunities because of the Op-Ed.”
The lawyers noted that Depp had not signed a contract for the sixth installment of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” despite claiming at the trial that The Washington Post cost him the role.
The papers also argue that Depp failed to disprove the abuse claims.
“Mr. Depp was required to establish at the time the Op-Ed was published, Ms. Heard did not believe she had been abused or that she had doubts about whether she was abused,” Chew wrote.
“But Mr. Depp presented no evidence -that Ms. Heard did not believe she was abused. Instead, the evidence overwhelmingly supported [that] Ms. Heard believed she was the victim of abuse at the hands of Mr. Depp.
“Therefore, Mr. Depp did not meet the legal requirements for actual malice, and the verdict should be set aside,” the papers said