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Court: Circuit Court, Fairfax County, Virginia
Defendant's Attorney: Benjamin Rottenborn
Description: Fairfax, Virginia personal injury lawyer represented Plaintiff, who sued defendant on a libel theory claiming that he was damaged and/or injured as a direct result of his ex-wife accusing him of being abusive.
Amber Heard wrote an article published in the >Washington Post in which she said that she was abused by Depp.
Truth is the only defense to libel and/or slander.
The uniform jury instruction for a defamation case in Virginia reads, as follows:
Instruction No. 37.020
The issues in this case are:
(1) Did the defendant make the following statement: (words of statement)?
(2) Is the statement about the plaintiff?
(3) Was the statement [heard; seen] by someone other than the plaintiff?
(4) Is the statement false?
(5) Did the defendant make the statement knowing it to be false or did the defendant make it
so recklessly as to amount to a willful disregard for the truth, that is, with a high degree of
awareness that the statement was probably false?
(6) Did the statement tend to so harm the reputation of the plaintiff as to lower him in the
estimation of the community, to deter others from associating or dealing with him, or
make him appear odious, infamous, or ridiculous?
On these issues the plaintiff has the burden of proof.
Outcome: Plaintiff's verdict for $10 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages with judgment for Defendant for $8 million.