A Virginia judge denied Wednesday Amber Heard’s request for a new trial in her legal battle with ex-husband Johnny Depp, denying her complaints surrounding one of the juror’s identities.
Judge Penney Azcarate denied Heard’s request for a mistrial, which hung on a claim from Heard’s lawyers that juror No. 15 was not called for jury duty, and someone who shared his name and address appeared during the trial instead, according to the Associated Press.
In an order, Azcarate noted the juror in question “was vetted, sat for the entire jury, deliberated, and reached a verdict” and said the “only evidence” shows jury No. 15 and the rest of the jury “followed their oaths, the Court’s instructions, and orders.”
Azcarate said the court “is bound by the competent decision of the jury,” meaning the verdict and the $10.4 million judgment stands.
Heard can still appeal the verdict, according to The Guardian.
Depp sued Heard for defamation over an op-ed she wrote in which she described herself as someone who had experienced domestic abuse, though she did not name Depp in it. She countersued him for claims made by Depp’s lawyer that her allegations of abuse were a hoax. The six-week long televised trial captured the attention of millions. The jury decided Heard defamed Depp, and he was awarded $10.4 million in damages. The jury also found Depp defamed Heard, and she was awarded $2 million. Days after the verdict was announced, Heard’s lawyer said they planned to appeal the verdict. Last week, the team requested a mistrial and said a new trial should be ordered on the grounds that an improper juror appeared in the trial, violating her rights to “a jury trial and due process.” Depp’s team pushed back on her allegations Monday, saying Heard should have raised the complaints during jury selection or the trial, and that she didn’t show any evidence of prejudice.
Johnny Depp Rebuffs Amber Heard’s Calls For New Trial Over False Juror (Forbes)
Amber Heard Says Wrong Juror Appeared In Defamation Trial, Requests New Trial (Forbes)
Amber Heard’s Lawyer Says Actress Can’t Pay $10 Million Judgment To Johnny Depp (Forbes)
Jury Rules Amber Heard Defamed Johnny Depp In Domestic Abuse Op-Ed (Forbes)