A mishap. Amber Heard is asking for a mistrial in her defamation case against Johnny Depp. Documents pulled by People revealed that Amber and her lawyers alleged that a juror wasn’t summoned correctly.
People obtained the documents on July 8, 2022, and Amber’s lawyers claimed that Amber is entitled to a new trial. The documents state that “based on newly discovered facts and information that Juror No. 15 was not the individual summoned for jury duty on April 11, 2022.” The documents claim the person who was selected for the jury was 77 years old at the time, and shares the same last name and address as someone who was 52. The 52-year-old was the one who attended the trial as a juror.
Amber’s lawyers blame the publicity of the case for the error in the trial. “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 such as this,” the filing said, noting that the “high-profile” status of the trial “where the fact and date of the jury trial were highly publicized prior to and after the issuance of the juror summonses.”
On July 4, 2022, ET obtained the post-trial motion document to throw away the trial’s verdict where Heard’s lawyers claim that Depp’s compensatory award was “excessive” and “indefensible. Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages for a total of $15 million. However, Depp was ordered to pay Heard $2 million in compensatory damages. Due to the cap on punitive damages under Virginia state law, Judge Penney Azcarate reduced Heard’s punitive damages from $5 million to $350,000. Heard’s lawyers’ motion also stated that “the evidence overwhelmingly supported Ms. Heard believed she was the victim of abuse at the hands of Mr. Depp.” The motion continued, “Because actual malice is a subjective standard, whether Ms. Heard believes she was abused must be judged by her definition of abuse. Ms. Heard testified unequivocally that Mr. Depp abused her physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Mr. Depp presented no evidence that Ms. Heard does not believe abuse can be physical, emotional or psychological.”
In the Aquaman actress’ first post-trial interview with Today’s Savannah Guthrie released on June 18, 2022 on Dateline, Heard talked about how she felt during the trial and its overall fairness. “I don’t care what one thinks about me, or what judgment you want to make about what happened in the privacy of my own home in my marriage, behind closed doors,” Heard said. “I don’t presume the average person should know these things, so I don’t take it personally.” Heard continued, “Even somebody who is sure I’m deserving of all this hate and vitriol, even if you think that I’m lying, you still couldn’t tell me — look me in the eye and tell me — that you think on social media there’s been a fair representation. You cannot tell me that you think that this has been fair.”
When Guthrie told her that the jury believed that she lied in her testimonies, Heard said, “They had sat in those seats and heard over three weeks of nonstop relentless testimony from paid employees and, towards the end of the trial, randos — as I say,” When asked if she blamed the jury for the verdict, she responded, “I don’t blame them, I actually understand. [Johnny]’s a beloved character and people feel they know him. He’s a fantastic actor.”
Depp won the defamation trial on June 1, 2022, after he sued Heard for $50 million. Depp was not in attendance at the long-awaited verdict. The trial was held due to an op-ed Heard wrote in The Washington Post in 2018 about her experiences with domestic abuse. Though no names were mentioned, many people speculated it to be about her marriage to Depp. Depp claimed that the op-ed cost him his acting jobs.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, help is available. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) for confidential support.
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