Johnny Depp's team file last-minute motion in Amber Heard defamation case 2 months ago

Johnny Depp's team file last-minute motion in Amber Heard defamation case

The judge ultimately denied the motion

Johnny Depp's legal team has filed a motion to strike part of Amber Heard's closing statements after they deemed her lawyers posited an "inappropriate argument" to the jury.

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Depp's counsel formally lodged a complaint with Judge Penney Azcarate on Tuesday, asking for her to remove one particular part of the attorney Ben Rottenborn's final remarks, as he asked jurors to consider the "message" finding Heard guilty would send - a suggestion which the plaintiff's party says "invites the jury to decide the case based on passion and prejudice".

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As obtained by FOX5 DC reporter Katie Barlow, the section of Rottenborn closing arguments they referred to states as follows: “In trying to convince you that Mr Depp has carried his burden of proof in proving that he was never abusive to Amber on even one occasion, think about the message that Mr Depp and his attorneys are sending... to every victim of domestic abuse everywhere”.

“If you didn’t take the picture it didn’t happen. If you did take pictures they’re fake", he said; “If you didn’t tell your friends you’re lying. If you did tell your friends you’re part of the hoax" and so on.

He goes on to say that Heard, 36, has been the victim of a "smear campaign" and a "campaign of global humiliation" for several years and that Depp's team will make the jury "an accomplice to" should they choose to side with him.

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Depp's lawyers suggested that Rottenborn, who also criticised the 58-year-old actor during his final remarks - stating that the actor was "laughing and making snide remarks" throughout a very serious regarding spousal abuse - was trying to “improperly invite the jury to focus on a larger social objective beyond the [case]”.

Filing for a Special Verdict Form and asking the jury to discount this section from their decision-making, the judge ultimately denied the motion, stating that she would not consider an amendment due to the fact that deliberation is already well underway.

The jury itself, now into their second day of deliberations, also asked for clarity over Heard's Washington Post op-ed. Referring to questions on the verdict sheet, they asked Judge Azcarate whether the alleged defamation refers to the content of the article or just the headline, specifically — to which she confirmed that only the headline is of concern.

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Meanwhile, Depp has been criticised for effectively going on tour with Jeff Beck, a fellow musician and friend, while everyone else is waiting for a final verdict.

You can see Ben Rottenborn and co-counsel Elaine Bredehoft's closing arguments in full below:

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