Fairfax, Virginia (AP) – The jury ended the second day of discussions on Tuesday without issuing a verdict on defamation claims against Johnny Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard over their unstable and unfortunate marriage.
A civic jury of seven heard the closing remarks on Friday and pondered for about two hours before heading out for a long weekend on Remembrance Day. Then on Tuesday the jury discussed another seven hours. They are scheduled to resume the hearing Wednesday in Fairfax County Court.
Depp is suing Hurd for $ 50 million, accusing her of slandering him in a 2018 article in which she called herself a “public figure representing domestic violence”. Hurd has filed a $ 100 million counterclaim against the Pirates of the Caribbean star after his lawyer called her allegations a hoax. Everyone accuses a friend of ruining their careers.
Testimony during a six-week trial showed a litany of horrific details of their brief marriage. Hurd testified that Depp physically or sexually raped her more than a dozen times. During his testimony, Depp testified that he never beat Hurd, that she made up allegations of abuse, and that she was the one who physically attacked him, several times.
During closing remarks, both sides told the jury that a verdict in their favor would bring their clients back to life.
On Tuesday, Depp’s lawyers asked Judge Penny Azcarate to instruct the jury to ignore some of Hurd’s attorney’s final arguments.
In their written motion, Depp’s attorneys said Hurd’s attorney told the jury that his decision in the case would give notice to “every victim of domestic violence everywhere.” Hurd’s lawyer Benjamin Rothenborn told the jury that the decision against Hurd “sends a message that no matter what you do as a victim of violence, you should always do more.”
“No matter how honest you are about your own imperfections and your own shortcomings in a relationship, you have to be perfect for people to believe you. Don’t send that message, ”Rothenborn said.
Depp’s lawyers argued that Rothenborn’s argument wrongly asked the jury to focus on a broader social goal than the case they are asking to resolve.
“Such an argument by Ms. Hurd’s lawyer wrongly invites jurors to decide the case” on the basis of passion and prejudice, “and to cure this obscenity requires special guidance from the jury,” – said Depp’s lawyers.
The judge told Depp’s lawyers in court that she would not consider the petition because the case is now in the hands of a jury.
Hurd, a public relations firm, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.