Amber Heard calls for mistrial in Johnny Depp case over alleged juror mix-up | Inquirer Entertainment

Amber Heard calls for mistrial in Johnny Depp case over alleged juror mix-up

/ 03:18 PM July 09, 2022
Amber Heard

Amber Heard leaves Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse after the jury announced split verdicts in the Depp v. Heard civil defamation trial at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, USA, June 1, 2022. Image: Reuters/Tom Brennert

Amber Heard’s camp has filed new documents requesting for a declaration of mistrial in the “Aquaman” star’s defamation case against her ex-husband Johnny Depp after a wrong person allegedly served on the jury that awarded Depp’s victory.

The actress’ legal team claims that a 77-year-old living in Virginia, USA, was summoned for jury duty but that a 52-year-old with the same last name and address showed up in court instead, as per redacted legal documents obtained by Deadline yesterday, July 8.

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“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,” they stated. ” 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.”

Heard’s lawyers say their client was not given a “fair trial” and her right to due process was violated due to the mix-up.

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“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,” they added.

Given this, the actress’ team argued that the judge should declare a mistrial and order a new trial.

This comes a week after Heard’s lawyers asked the judge to throw out the $10.35 million (about P579 million) verdict altogether. They claimed that the verdict was not supported by sufficient evidence, as per documents obtained by People last July 2.

Heard and Depp made headlines over the past months amid their weeks-long defamation trial.

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star sued Heard over an opinion piece that she wrote back in 2018, in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Heard never mentioned Depp’s name in the article, but his lawyers said it was clear that Heard was referring to him. Heard countersued, saying she was defamed by Depp’s lawyer who described her abuse claims as a “hoax.”

The jury ruled that Heard had defamed Depp and awarded him $15 million (about P839 million) in damages, though the actress only has to pay $10.35 million due to Virginia law capping punitive damages.

Meanwhile, the jury ruled in favor of some aspects of Heard’s countersuit and she was awarded $2 million (about P112 million) in damages.  /ra

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TAGS: Amber Heard, Aquaman, Defamation, Johnny Depp, mistrial
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