Amber Heard Wants Mistrial in Johnny Depp Defamation Case, Alleges Wrong Juror Served on Jury

After losing a defamation case filed against her by ex-husband Johnny Depp, Amber Heard seeks a new trial, claiming one of the jurors who decided the case was never supposed to serve on the jury.

By Corinne Heller Jul 09, 2022 8:00 PMTags
Watch: Amber Heard Still Loves Johnny Depp Despite Legal Battle

Amber Heard is not giving up in her case against Johnny Depp without another fight.

The actress has asked a judge to declare a mistrial in her ex-husband's defamation case against her, which was ruled in his favor in June after one of the most publicized and talked-about celebrity trials. In her request, Heard's attorneys allege that one of the jurors who served on the jury was not supposed to be there.

The July 8 filing, obtained by E! News, states that the jury panel list sent to lawyers before the trial included an individual listed as born in 1945, making them 77 years old, but that voter registration information also listed a 52-year-old with the same last name living at the older person's address.

"The individual who appeared for jury duty with this name was obviously the younger one," the documents state. "Thus, the 52-year-old...sitting on the jury for six weeks was never summoned for jury duty on April 11."

E! News has reached out to Depp's rep and attorney and to the Virginia court for comment on the filing and has not heard back.

Viral Moments From Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's Defamation Trial

In their filing, Heard's attorneys state that the actress "has a right to rely on the basic protected, 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."

The trial, which ended June 1, had a panel of seven jurors. Their names are to be remain sealed for one year following the verdict, a judge ruled in May, following a filed request from Heard.

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Depp had sued Heard in 2019 for $50 million over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed she wrote, in which she stated that "two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse." While she did not name her ex in her article, she did publicly accuse the Pirates of the Caribbean star of domestic violence in a 2016 restraining order she obtained after her divorce filing.

Depp, who denied her allegations, stated in his defamation suit that the actress' op-ed "depends on the central premise that Ms. Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Mr. Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her." He also alleged in his filing that Heard herself "violently abused" him during their relationship. During the trial, Heard testified that she "didn't assault Johnny, ever."

The jury ruled that the actress was liable for defaming Depp with her op-ed. She was ordered to pay him more than $10 million in damages. In a statement made after the verdict, Heard called the ruling a "setback" for women, adding, "It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously."

Heard also won a smaller legal victory in her $100 million countersuit against the actor: The jury ordered Depp to pay her $2 million because his lawyer had accused her of perpetrating a "hoax."

After the trial ended, Heard spoke about the court battle in an exclusive interview with NBC News, claiming she was depicted unfairly on social media. "This is the most humiliating and horrible thing I've ever been through," she said. "I have never felt more removed from my own humanity. I felt less than human."

She also said she has "no bad feelings or ill will towards" Depp.

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