Wrong person sat in jury: Amber Heard wants a new trial

Actor's lawyers stated that a ‘due process was compromised’ in the high-profile case

Entertainment Desk July 09, 2022

One month ago, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor Johnny Depp won a defamation case against ex wife Amber Heard. Now the Aquaman actor wants a new trial to be ordered, and a mistrial to be declared in the same case. 

According to her lawyer, a ‘due process was compromised’ in the high-profile trial as a wrong juror, who was not listed for duty, became a part of the trial, and therefore the court should dismiss the June 1 verdict and order a fresh trial. Heard's legal team filed a case in the US court. 

Earlier, her legal team also asked the court to dismiss the defamation trial verdict, saying there was no evidence to back Depp's claim. 

Jury in a Virginia court ordered to pay Johnny $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, which the judge lowered to $3.5 million because of a cap in the state of Virginia. On the other hand, Depp was ordered to pay Heard $2 million following their defamation trial. The jury ruled that Heard had defamed her ex-husband in a 2018 article, in which she said she was a victim of domestic abuse.

Now according to Deadline, a new report suggests that Heard's team is alleging that a wrong juror was seated in the defamation trial. The publication has exclaimed that a 77-year-old individual was called for jury duty, who appears to live at the same address as a 52-year-old, who had ‘the same surname’. When the former was supposed to be of the jury, the latter ended up seating on the jury throughout the trial.

"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. In this case, it appears that Juror no 5 was not, in fact, the same individual as listed on the jury panel. 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,” Heard's lawyers said in a partially redacted new filing as quoted by the publication.

Heard's lawyer said that as a result of the alleged mistake, the ‘due process’ had been ‘compromised’, and therefore said that a mistrial should be declared by court, which would render the initial trial and its outcome invalid.

"Ms Heard’s due process was therefore compromised. Under these circumstances, a mistrial should be declared, and a new trial ordered,” Heard's attorney Elaine Bredehoft was quoted to have said in the new report.

Earlier, Heard's lawyers had also alleged that Johnny was not entitled to any damages that were awarded to him by the jury, saying, “There is no evidence of damage to Mr Depp's reputation caused by Mrs. Heard's Op-Ed."

For the unversed, Heard and Depp have both accused each other of domestic violence. Depp sued Heard for defamation because of an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018. She never mentioned his name, but she referred to herself as ‘a public figure representing domestic abuse’. In 2021, Heard countersued Johnny for $100 million which she lost. 


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