Amber Heard’s legal team recently attempted to challenge the $10.35 million judgment against her in the contentious defamation trial brought forth by Johnny Depp. They argued that the verdict should be thrown out due to a revelation concerning one of the jurors who found Heard guilty of defaming Depp.
According to Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, in a statement obtained by Deadline, it appears that Juror No. 15 was not the same individual listed on the jury panel. This revelation, she claimed, compromised Amber Heard’s due process rights, and as a result, she called for a mistrial and a new trial to be ordered.
The background of this issue lies in the fact that the summons for jury duty was sent to a Virginia resident in April. However, there were two people living at the same address—a 77-year-old, who received the summons, and a 52-year-old, who ultimately appeared in court for jury duty.
The response from Johnny Depp’s legal team was swift and dismissive. They argued that Amber Heard failed to demonstrate that her defense was thwarted by this mistake and cited a lack of legal precedent to support her claim that the juror mix-up compromised her due process. Furthermore, Depp’s attorneys stated that Heard had not shown any prejudice resulting from the situation.
The legal memo submitted by Johnny Depp’s attorneys emphasized that, under Virginia law, a verdict should not be set aside unless it is “clearly wrong or without evidence to support it.” They asserted that Amber Heard had provided no legitimate grounds for overturning the jury’s decision and suggested that her post-trial motions were nearly frivolous.
This legal battle stems from Johnny Depp’s $50 million defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard, which accused her of defaming him with a 2018 op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post, where she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” Depp claimed that her article damaged his career and resulted in the cancellation of several film projects, including a sixth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Last month, a jury awarded Johnny Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages (capped at $350,000) in connection with the article. A juror who sided with Depp stated on Good Morning America that they found Amber Heard’s testimony lacking in credibility, expressing discomfort with her emotional displays during the trial.
Amber Heard’s representatives have not yet commented on this latest development.