Amber Heard’s legal team fought to have nude photos and the actress’ brief stint as an exotic dancer blocked from a defamation trial with her ex-husband Johnny Depp, according to unsealed court documents.
After a highly-publicized six-week trial, a jury on June 1 found that Heard defamed Depp in an op-ed about domestic violence published by The Washington Post in 2018, awarding Depp $15 million in damages.
Heard’s team reportedly accused Depp of “inappropriately” seeking to include in the trial nude photos of the actress and other “irrelevant personal matters,” including the 36-year-old’s “brief stint as an exotic dancer years before she met Mr. Depp,” according to Entertainment Weekly.
The actress’ lawyers charged that Depp’s team was “attempting to frivolously and maliciously suggest or imply that Ms. Heard was at one time an escort.”
“Nude pictures of Amber Heard or comments about stripping or escort services would be highly distracting and unfairly prejudicial to the extent they portray Amber Heard as a sex symbol instead of a women’s rights activist against domestic abuse,” argued Elaine Bredehoft, one of Heard’s lawyers.
Heard last month requested a new defamation trial with Depp based on an alleged juror error. She was ultimately denied.
“There is no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing,” said Judge Penney Azcarate, who presided over the trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court, Fox News reported.
The “Aquaman” actress’ legal team claimed that someone with the same last name and who lives at the same address as the individual summoned for jury duty showed up instead and served as a juror during the trial. According to Fox News, the juror who showed up to serve was the son of the man who was summoned.
“Ms. Heard had a right to rely on the basic protection, as prescribed by the Virginia Code, that the jurors in this trial would be individuals who were actually summoned for jury duty,” the legal filing accused. “In this case, it appears that Juror No. 15 was not, in fact, the same individual as listed on the jury panel. Ms. Heard’s due process was therefore compromised. Under these circumstances, a mistrial should be declared, and a new trial ordered.”
In response, Depp’s team blasted the request as “frivolous” and “desperate” in a 36-page memorandum.
“While Ms. Heard slings an exceptional amount of mud at the wall in the hope that something might stick, the jury’s verdict on damages was perfectly reasonable and supported by the evidence and testimony in this case,” the memorandum added.