Amber Heard wants Johnny Depp victory tossed over Juror No. 15
'A mistrial should be declared, and a new trial ordered'
Author of the article:Mark Daniell
Publishing date:Jul 08, 2022 • 12 hours ago • 4 minute read • Join the conversation
Johnny Depp’s courtroom victory over ex-wife Amber Heard might be short lived.
Last week, Heard’s lawyers asked a judge to toss the $10.35 million verdict against her in the defamation case filed by Depp, arguing that one of the jurors — known as Juror No. 15 — may not have been properly screened by the court.
On Friday, Deadline obtained documents relating to the person in question.
“Ms. Heard had a right to rely on the basic protection, as prescribed by the Virginia Code, that the jurors in this trial would be individuals who were actually summoned for jury duty,” read a motion filed by the actress’ legal team.
“In this case, it appears that Juror No. 15 was not, in fact, the same individual as listed on the jury panel,” attorney Elaine Bredehoft adds. “Ms. Heard’s due process was therefore compromised. Under these circumstances, a mistrial should be declared, and a new trial ordered.”
According to the redacted filing, Deadline reports, the summons for jury duty was sent out to a Virginia resident in April. But there were two people living at the same address — a 77-year-old (who was the one summoned) and a 52-year-old (who showed up in court).
“Thus, the 52-year-old- (redacted) sitting on the jury for six weeks was never summoned for jury duty on April 11 and did not ‘appear in the list,’ as required,” the filing continues.
“As the Court no doubt agrees, it is deeply troubling for an individual not summoned for jury duty nonetheless to appear for jury duty and serve on a jury, especially in a case such as this.”
It is not clear if the juror intentionally misrepresented themselves as being born in 1945, and no explanation was given how the younger individual was selected to the jury without ever having to provide any official ID.
Depp sued Heard for $50 million, accusing her of defaming him with a 2018 op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post in which she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” The three-time Oscar nominee claimed her article ruined his career and led to a series of cancelled film projects, including a sixth Pirates of the Caribbean feature.
Last month, a seven-person jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages (which is capped at $350,000) over the article.
After the verdict, one of the jury members who ruled in Depp’s favour told Good Morning America in an interview that they didn’t think her testimony was believable.
“The crying, the facial expressions that she had, the staring at the jury — all of us were very uncomfortable…,” the juror said.
ABC didn’t reveal his identity, but he said that the majority of the jury felt “a lot of Amber’s story didn’t add up” and that “the majority of the jury felt she was the aggressor.”
During her testimony, Heard burst into tears repeatedly as she painted a picture of an allegedly controlling and abusive Depp, who, as he was known to the world as one of Hollywood’s biggest film stars, was a Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde-like “monster” behind closed doors.
The juror said Heard’s emotional, tear-filled testimony was not realistic.
“She would answer one question and she would be crying and then two seconds later she would turn ice cold,” they said. “Some of us used the expression ‘crocodile tears.'”
On Depp’s side, the juror said he came across as the more trustworthy of the two.
“A lot of the jury felt what he was saying, at the end of the day, was more believable…,” said the juror. “He just seemed a little more real in terms of how he was responding to questions. His emotional state was very stable throughout…”
The juror added that the revelation that Heard did not donate the full $7 million divorce settlement (as she had pledged to do) was “… a fiasco for her.”
He also disputed Heard’s claim that the jury was influenced by social media in reaching their decision.
In an interview with the TODAY show, Heard spoke about Depp’s overzealous fanbase, saying that she was hounded in person and online with hashtags like #amberturd and #justiceforjohnnydepp generating billions of views on TikTok.
“Even somebody who is sure I’m deserving of all this hate and vitriol, even if you think that I’m lying, you still couldn’t look me in the eye and tell me that you think on social media there’s been a fair representation,” Heard said. “You cannot tell me that you think that this has been fair,” she said.
“We followed the evidence …,” the juror fired back. “Myself and at least two other jurors don’t use Twitter or Facebook. Others who had it, made a point not to talk about it.”
In their filing last week to have the verdict set aside, Heard’s attorneys called the damages awarded to Depp “excessive” and “indefensible.” They also first raised the possibility that there was an improper juror on the panel noting that Juror No. 15 was much younger than the person who was summoned.
“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,” they wrote.
This new bombshell comes after Heard announced her plans to appeal the verdict. But judge Penney Azcarate said that if Heard appeals, she must post a bond for the full amount of the $10.35 million award while the challenge is pending — something she could potentially avoid if the ruling is set aside due to Juror No. 15’s vote.
Heard’s reps did not respond when the Sun reached out for comment.
EXCLUSIVE: If there wasn’t enough drama swirling around Johnny Depp’s win over Amber Heard in his multimillion-dollar defamation suit last month, things have turned judicially weird. &#…
Johnny Depp's courtroom victory over ex-wife Amber Heard might be short lived.