In the Johnny Depp defamation case, Amber Heard is requesting a mistrial after it was allegedly found by her legal team that one of the jurors who rendered a verdict was never really called for jury duty.
Heard’s legal team submitted an astonishing new motion on Friday “based on freshly found information.” Her attorneys claim that a 77-year-old and a 52-year-old who share the same last name live at the home where the summons was served in April, according to a redacted copy of the filing that EW acquired.
The younger person turned up in court, despite the fact that the older person was asked to serve on the jury, according to Heard’s attorneys.
The motion states that as a result, the 52-year-old who served on the panel for six weeks never received a summons for jury duty on April 11 and did not “appear in the list” as required.
The use of a 7-digit juror number, zip code, and birthday to authenticate jurors’ identities are some of the precautions Virginia has in place to prevent this kind of mix-up, according to the lawsuit.
In order to provide due process and a fair trial for all litigants, the petition states that “such protections are in place and relied upon by the parties to authenticate the identity of the correct juror.” “The right to a jury trial and due process is undermined and compromised when these safeguards are evaded or not followed, as appears to be the case here.”
Heard’s attorneys are requesting that a mistrial be declared and a new trial be scheduled, citing Amber Heard’s right to “rely on the basic protection… that the jurors in this trial would be individuals who were legitimately summoned for jury duty.”
Depp’s team did not immediately reply to EW’s contact, while Heard’s team declined to comment on the motion.
The legal dispute started in 2019 when Depp sued Heard for $50 million for defaming him in an op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post in 2018 on what she claimed to be her experiences as a victim of domestic abuse. Although Johnny Depp isn’t specifically mentioned in the op-ed, his attorneys said that the references to him were obvious and hurtful to his reputation and career.
The jury found that Heard had defamed Depp, paying the actor $15 million in damages (which the judge later lowered to $10.35 million in compliance with state law). The Virginia trial started in April and came to a successful conclusion last month in Depp’s favor. Heard’s countersuit resulted in a meager victory because she was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages but no punitive ones.
Following the decision, Heard released a statement that read, “The disappointment I feel tonight is beyond words.” “I’m devastated that the weight of facts still couldn’t hold up to my ex-enormous husband’s power, influence, and sway.”
In his own statement, Depp claimed to be “humbled” and said that he owed it to his children and to everyone else who had continued to stand by him to speak the truth. “Now that I’ve finally done that, I feel at peace.”