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Amber Heard Files For New Trial Against Johnny Depp Due To ‘Inconsistent Verdicts’

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In a wide-ranging court memorandum, attorneys for the “Aquaman” actress argued that evidence doesn’t support the $10 million verdict awarded to her ex-husband, Johnny Depp.

Attorneys for Amber Heard Friday asked a Fairfax County Circuit Court judge to toss a jury’s verdict that the actress defamed her ex-husband, Johnny Depp.

In a 43-page memorandum, Heard’s legal team argued that the award — more than $10 million — was unsupported by evidence. They took issue with Depp’s contention that he lost his role in “Pirates of the Caribbean” because of statements made by Heard in an op-ed. And they charged that at least one juror was not properly vetted by court officials.

The attorneys asked the court to set aside the verdict in favor of Depp in its entirety, dismiss the complaint or order a new trial.

Depp “proceeded solely on a defamation by implication theory, abandoning any claims that Ms. Heard’s statements were actually false,” argues the court brief, signed by Elaine Bredehoft, Heard’s lead attorney.

In an email, Ben Chew, who heads Depp’s legal team, dismissed Heard’s motion as “what we expected, just longer, no more substantive.”

A trial pitting the two actors spanned six weeks from April until early June and focused on Depp’s allegations that he was defamed by a 2018 op-ed that appeared in The Washington Post under Heard’s byline. In the article, Heard recounted that she had become a public figure representing domestic abuse and pinpointed a period two years earlier — 2016, when Heard took out a temporary restraining order against Depp.

In the verdict, the jurors found that Heard defamed Depp with three statements in the op-ed — one of which was a headline that Heard didn’t write. According to the court brief, “Ms. Heard never even became aware of the headline until Mr. Depp filed the lawsuit against her.”

Heard retweeted the article, and the headline was part of the tweet. But she also included a message with the tweet. And in jury instructions, Chief Judge Penney Azcarate wrote, “merely linking to an article does not amount to republication but adding content to a linked article may constitute republication.” She told the jury they must determine “whether any added content was intended to reach a new audience.”

Heard’s lawyers argued that republication requires “editing and retransmitting the defamatory material or redistributing the material with the goal of reaching a new audience.” Heard, they argued, “never edited or played any role with the respect to the headline” and the tweet she added does not constitute editing the article.

Another part of the motion focuses on Depp’s award. Jurors handed down a split verdict — essentially finding that the two had defamed one another. Depp, 59, was initially awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, but the judge reduced the latter to the statutory maximum of $350,000. The jury also found that Heard, 36, was defamed by a statement made by one of Depp’s attorneys. She was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages and no punitive damages. For both amounts, the judge’s order set interest at 6% yearly.

In arguing that Depp’s award was excessive, Heard’s lawyers contended that Depp and his legal team broadened the parameters of damages against the actor during the trial. Depp “represented to the court he would limit his damages to the period Dec. 18, 2018 through Nov. 2, 2020,” the legal brief argued. Instead, Depp “continued to urge the jury to restore his reputation and legacy to his children as a result of Ms. Heard accusing Mr. Depp in May 2016 of domestic violence.”

Heard’s lawyers also asked the court to investigate whether one juror improperly served on the jury.

On a court list, the juror’s birthday was 1945. But the juror, identified in the filing as Juror 15, “was clearly born later than 1945. Publicly available information demonstrates that he appears to have been born in 1970.This discrepancy raises the question whether Juror 15 actually received a summons for jury duty and was properly vetted by the court to serve on the jury.”

The court clerk’s office has a statutory obligation to verify the identity of the jurors. But in this case, “it appears his identity could not have been verified…”

To be sure, Azcarate, who presided over the trial, signed an order June 24 making the jury’s verdict official. And during the hearing, she made it clear that she was not inclined to schedule further hearings.

Depp previously brought a libel case against The Sun, a UK newspaper that had described the actor as a wife beater. He lost that case. Separately, he faces a lawsuit in Los Angeles brought by a film location manager who contends the actor punched him.

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Kwame Baah sets to launch a global BUSINESS plug for musicians and all entertainers

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Photo: Kwame Baah, a digital marketing expert and a content manager.

Ghanaian digital marketing expert, Kwame Baah is set to launch a global business agency for artiste booking.

“The  primary focus of Get the Artiste is to  bridge the gap between artistes and people or businesses who need talent for various engagements, be it a concert, event, Tv show or guest appearances” Baah told mediaplugafrica.

He explained: “Booking agency is not anything new, is all over the world so it’s nothing new. We are just trying to bring it over here in Ghana  so that our artiste easily  get to be connected with locally and internationally”.

K. Baah currently manages,  strategize, grooms and promotes most of the big names in the Ghanaian music industry.

The official  launch of K. Baah’s initiative “Get The Artiste” will take place on Friday, February 10, 2023 at the 3Music Headquarters, Accra at exactly 5pm.

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Ed Sheeran returns to social with an emotional personal announcement

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British singer Ed Sheeran took to his Instagram to share an emotional personal announcement following his return to social media after a two-month break.

In a video he shared on Instagram, The singer, 31, admitted he has been emotionally detached for much longer.

Ed Sheeran took to Instagram to address his absence. Credit: Instagram/Ed Sheeran

“I realise I haven’t been that engaged in my social media or my fan base online over the last couple of years and the things that have been posted on this account might have got a bit boring, I’m sorry, it’s my fault. Ed said in a video.

“The reason I’m making this video is, just being totally honest, I’ve had some turbulent things happening in my personal life so I just didn’t really feel like being online and pretending to be something I’m not, when I wasn’t feeling like that.

“And I know that sounds weird but hence I’m making this video to say things are looking up and I’m back online.

“Weird s*** is going to start being posted here.”

Ed Sheeran did not elaborate on what ‘turbulence’ he’d endured. Credit: Instagram/Ed Sheeran

However, Ed  did not elaborate on what “turbulence” he’d endured, In February, he lost his close friend Jamal Edwards who tragically died after a cardiac arrest brought on by taking cocaine and drinking alcohol. Three months later, Ed and his wife Cherry Seaborn announced they had welcomed a baby daughter.

In November, Ed told his followers that he was taking a break from social media, after wrapping up work on a new music video.

Sharing a behind-the-scenes snap overlooking a beach, he penned the caption: ‘Signing off now until 2023. See you in the new year. Much love, Ed x.’

According to daily mail, the singer is in the middle of a worldwide tour, and is currently performing a run of shows in Australia and New Zealand.

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Chicago prosecutor drops sex abuse charges against R. Kelly

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R. Kelly arrives for a hearing on sexual abuse charges in Chicago on May 7, 2019.Kamil Krzaczynski / AFP via Getty Images file

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx told reporters that her office believes “justice has been served” against Kelly, who has been convicted in federal court.

An Illinois prosecutor dropped 10 charges of sex abuse against the singer R. Kelly on Monday, saying the cost was one of the factors she weighed in her decision.

Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is already serving a 30-year prison sentence on charges of federal racketeering and sex trafficking after he was convicted in New York last year.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx told reporters that her office believes “justice has been served” with the two convictions. She said her office’s “limited resources and court time” were the ultimate factors, noting that it found the accusations to be credible.

“Mr. Kelly is looking at the possibility of never walking out of prison again,” Foxx said.

Kelly is set to appear Tuesday in Cook County Court, where the charges will be formally dropped. The state has accused Kelly of sexually abusing four people, three of whom were minors.

Foxx announced the state’s case in 2019, saying the incidents occurred from May 1998 to January 2010. Kelly had faced three to seven years in prison for each charge if he were convicted.

The women in the case were identified in the indictment only by their initials. Multiple women have come forward with allegations over the years.

Lifetime aired a six-part docuseries, “Surviving R. Kelly,” in January 2019 in which multiple women alleged Kelly subjected them to mental, physical and sexual abuse. Foxx urged potential victims to come forward to speak with her office about possible criminal activity after the series.

Foxx said Monday that she consulted with the women in the indictment before she decided to drop the charges, acknowledging that some might be disappointed.

“I know firsthand how difficult it is for you to tell your stories,” Foxx said. “Four years ago, I stood at this podium and shared my story of having been a survivor and my full understanding of what it means to have to go before strangers to discuss what is arguably one of the most horrific experiences one could have. And these women, all of them Black, came forward, believing that they would be heard.”

Kelly also faces state charges in Minnesota, where he has been accused of soliciting a minor for sexual purposes and engaging in prostitution with a minor.

In the New York case, Kelly was convicted on nine counts of racketeering and sex trafficking. Jurors found that he set up a criminal enterprise that enabled him to recruit and transport underage girls for sex.

Months later in Chicago federal court, he was convicted on six counts of sexual exploitationand enticement of a minor. He is scheduled to be sentenced on those charges Feb. 23.

Kelly’s attorneys have said he plans to appeal both federal convictions.

Source: NBC NEWS

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