Johnny Depp Reacts to Amber Heard’s Request for a Mistrial
Days ago, Amber Heard filed paperwork, requesting a new trial in Johnny Depp’s defamation case against her.
The documents claimed that one of the jurors who served was not the person who was summoned.
The document noted that the jury panel was supposed to have an individual born in 1945, but instead someone younger with the same last name living at the same address was in court instead.
The filing stated, “The individual who appeared for jury duty with this name was obviously the younger one. Thus, the 52-year-old... sitting on the jury for six weeks was never summoned for jury duty on April 11."
Heard’s legal team argued that she “has 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. 15 was not, in fact, the same individual as listed on the jury panel. Ms. Heard's due process was therefore compromised. Under these circumstances, a mistrial should be declared, and a new trial ordered."
In response to the filing, Depp’s lawyers asked the court to “reject Ms. Heard’s baseless contention.” In papers obtained by Deadline, they added, “Following a six-week jury trial, a jury of Ms. Heard’s peers rendered a verdict against her in virtually all respects. Though understandably displeased at the outcome of the trial, Ms. Heard has identified no legitimate basis to set aside in any respect the jury’s decision.”
“Virginia law is clear that a verdict is not to be set aside unless it is ‘plainly wrong or without evidence to support it,’” they emphasized. “Here, the verdict was well supported by the overwhelming evidence, consistent with the law, and should not be set aside. Mr. Depp respectfully submits that the Court should deny Ms. Heard’s Post-Trial Motions, which verge into the frivolous.”
Depp’s team, argued, “In her Supplemental Memorandum, Ms. Heard does not, because she cannot, make any proffer as to why she could not have discovered the “new facts until now. This is because the Clerk’s Office provided the pre-panel jury list to the parties back on April 6, 2022, more than two months ago and five days before the jury was empaneled. In a rare moment of candor, Ms. Heard admits that she was aware of the purported discrepancy in Juror 15’s birth year from the very start of trial because ‘Juror 15 …was clearly born later than 1945.’ Ms. Heard therefore concedes she had more than enough time before the trial started, and during the six-week trial, when at least two alternates were available, to investigate and discover the alleged ‘new’ facts. Clearly, Ms. Heard waived any right to allege ‘new’ facts she chose not to investigate for so long, much less to demand the extraordinary remedy of a mistrial.”
Last month, the jury found in favor of Depp, agreeing that it was defamation when Heard called him an abuser in a 2018 op-ed piece about domestic abuse survivors. He was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. The judge immediately reduced the $5 million figure to $350,000, in line with a Virginia statutory cap.
Heard also had a partial win in her countersuit, as the jury awarded her $2 million in compensatory damages for a defamatory written statement by one of Depp’s lawyers.