On June 1, a jury sided with the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor and found that the “Aquaman” actress did commit defamation when she published a Washington Post op-ed in 2018 declaring herself a survivor of domestic violence. A jury found Heard on the hook for $15 million dollars – $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. That $5 million was later reduced to $350,000 – the maximum amount allowed under Virginia state law.
Although the jury also found for Heard in the sum of $2 million dollars, her legal team is trying to get the entire ruling thrown out due to an alleged “fake” juror. Although Depp’s team has been silent since the news broke, on Monday, they decided to fire back.
Johnny Depp’s Legal Team Calls Amber Heard’s Attempts To Get Jury Verdict Tossed ‘Frivolous’
On Monday, Johnny Depp’s legal team provided a lengthy opposition to “reject Ms. Heard’s baseless contention” after Amber Heard and her legal team argued that the jury verdict should be thrown out and a new trial should be ordered after they claimed to have discovered that one of the jurors is not who they claimed to be.
“Following a six-week jury trial, a jury of Ms. Heard’s peers rendered a verdict against her in virtually all respects,” the memorandum said, as per Deadline. “Though understandably displeased with the outcome of the trial, Ms. Heard has identified no legitimate basis to set aside in any respect the jury’s decision.”
The recent court filing goes on to say, “Virginia law is clear that a verdict is not to be set aside unless it is ‘plainly wrong or without evidence to support it.’”
“Here, the verdict was well supported by the overwhelming evidence, consistent with the law, and should not be set aside,” the statement continues. “Mr. Depp respectfully submits that the Court should deny Ms. Heard’s Post-Trial Motions, which verge into the frivolous.”
Johnny Depp’s Legal Team Argues That Amber Heard Submitted Her Arguments After The Deadline
The legal team for Johnny Depp continued to argue that Amber Heard and her attorneys filed their motion after the July 1 deadline. The most recent filing from Elaine Bredehoft and Heard’s legal team, dated July 8, alleges that there was an imposter juror who served instead of the person who was actually summoned. On Monday, Depp’s legal team claims that Heard’s legal team actually knew about the juror discrepancy before the trial started:
“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. Hard 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.”
Asking the judge to declare a mistrial seems to be the latest attempt by Amber Heard and her team to get the jury’s ruling thrown out. On June 24, Judge Penny Azcarate said that Heard must front an $8.35 million dollar bond before an appeal can move forward. Shortly afterward, Heard’s legal cited the allegedly “fake” juror as the primary reason why the jury’s verdict should be tossed out and a new trial should be started.
According to court documents, it looks like a person who was born in 1945 is the person who was supposed to be summoned. However, instead of a 77-year-old man, a 52-year-old man showed up in his place. It is believed that they reside in the same household and share the same last name, according to Friday’s filing, but it remains to be seen if that will be enough to get a judge to declare a new trial.