Johnny Depp Asked The Judge To Strike An 'Inappropriate' Argument By Amber Heard's Lawyer
His team says it could influence the verdict.
The Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard case might be in the jury's hands, but that hasn't stopped their lawyers from continuing to battle it out in court.
Depp's team filed a request with the judge on Tuesday to have part of Heard's closing argument stricken from the record, calling it "inappropriate." They want the judge to update her instructions to the jury so that they'll ignore part of what her lawyers said last week.
Depp's lawyers were particularly concerned about a statement made by Ben Rottenborn, a member of Heard's team who has had a few stumbles during the six-week trial.
"Think about the message that Mr. Depp and his attorneys are sending to Amber, and by extension to every victim of domestic abuse everywhere," Rottenborn told the jury during his closing statement. "If you didn't take pictures, it didn't happen. If you did take pictures, they're fake. If you didn't tell your friends, you're lying."
Depp's lawyers argue that part of his argument is offside, because it "improperly" invites the jury to "focus on a larger social objective" rather than sticking to the case. They also say that Rottenborn pushed the jury to rule "based on passion and prejudice" instead of what they've heard.
"A specific jury instruction is necessary to cure this impropriety," they argue.
The high-profile defamation trial wrapped up on Friday, and the seven-member jury is now trying to reach a verdict in each actor's case.
Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over a Washington Post op-ed published in 2018, in which she claims to be a "public figure representing domestic abuse." She didn't name him in the piece but Depp's team says that it clearly points to him, and that he lost major roles in the Pirates of the Caribbean and Fantastic Beasts franchises because of the backlash it generated. Depp has also insisted that he never struck Heard during their relationship.
Heard is counter-suing Depp for $100 million, arguing that his lawyers defamed her when they suggested her claims were a "hoax."
The former married couple shared several claims of alleged abuse during the trial.
No time or date has been set for the verdicts in the case, and it's unclear if the actors will even be in court when it's delivered, as Depp is currently touring the U.K. with musician pal Jeff Beck.
The judge did not immediately rule on the request Tuesday.
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