One of the jurors in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial served improperly, an attorney for Heard alleged in a recent filing that asked the court to declare a mistrial and order a new trial.
“Newly discovered facts” show Juror No. 15 in the six-week trial was not the individual summoned in April to serve in the case, Heard’s attorney wrote in a five-page memo filed Friday in Virginia’s Fairfax Circuit Court.
Instead, the filing suggests Juror No. 15 was a younger individual with the same last name who “apparently” lives at the same address.
“As the Court no doubt agrees, it is deeply troubling for an individual not summoned for jury duty Nevertheless to appear for jury duty and serve on a jury, especially in a case such as this,” the filing said.
Depp sued his ex-wife over a December 2018 op-ed Heard wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” The piece did not mention Depp by name. Much of the testimony focused on whether Heard had been physically and sexually abused, as she claimed. Depp said he never hit Heard and that she was the abuser.
On June 1, the jury decided that Depp should receive $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, but the judge reduced the punitive damages award to $350,000 under a state cap.
In a split decision, the jury also found that Heard was defamed by one of Depp’s lawyers, who accused her of creating a detailed hoax that included roughing up their apartment to look worse for police. The jury awarded her $2