Amber Heard is seeking a new defamation trial against ex-husband Johnny Depp, claiming the Virginia trial last spring stacked the deck against her. Depp was awarded a $10.35 million verdict after arguing Heard's Washington Post op-ed, in which she claimed she'd experienced domestic abuse, was defamatory.
“The trial court improperly prevented the jury from considering several separate instances in which Heard reported Depp’s abuse to a medical professional,” the Aquaman actress's lawyers argue in a 68-page document, filed November 23 and obtained by the New York Post.
“If not reversed, the trial court’s exclusion of contemporaneous reports of domestic abuse to medical professionals will make it more difficult for other abuse victims to prove allegations of abuse, and likely deter them from coming forward,” they insist.
Attorneys for Heard also argued the trial should have taken place in California, where the couple once lived together, and not in Virginia, where the Washington Post houses its servers.
Virginia was an “entirely inconvenient forum with no connection to Depp or any meaningful connection to his claims,” the filing states.
The case “should never have gone to trial because another court had already concluded that Depp abused Heard on multiple occasions,” her lawyers added, referencing the 2020 English ruling in favor of Britain’s The Sun, which Depp had sued for calling him a wife-beater.
Depp, 59, filed his own appeal in the case, claiming, “The jury’s emphatic favorable verdict on all three defamatory statements alleged in his complaint fully vindicated Mr. Depp and restored his reputation.”
A group of judges will issue a ruling on both claims, and each party will then have a chance to appeal once more, according to the newspaper.