Several weeks ago, the dual defamation case between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard resulted in a major win for Depp, thanks to a unanimous jury decision. But there might be one problem: it appears that one of the jurors was not supposed to be there.
According to files obtained by Deadline, Heard’s attorneys have requested that the case should be declared a mistrial due to a misidentification of one of the jurors.
The “Supplemental Memorandum In Support of Section VII of Defendant and Counterclaim Plaintiff Amber Heard’s Post-Trial Motions Based on Additional Discovered Facts,” which was submitted to the Circuit Court of Fairfax County, Virginia, states:
“Juror No. 15 was not the individual summoned for jury duty on April 11, 2022, and therefore was not part of the jury panel and could not have properly served on the jury at this trial. Therefore, a mistrial should be declared and a new trial ordered.”
The motion goes on to state that Juror No. 15 was supposed to be a 77-year-old individual. However, it appears that a 52-year-old individual who was listed as living at the same address but did not appear on the Jury Panel List–and was reportedly never summoned for jury duty on April 11–stood in for all six weeks of this widely televised case.
“As the Court, no doubt agrees, 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 case such as this,” the document read, in part. “Ms. Heard 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… Ms. Heard’s due process was therefore compromised.”
Depp’s legal team put forth their own written opposition to this motion, arguing that the jury’s decision was supported by the evidence and law provided during the six-week trial.
“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. Mr. Depp respectfully submits that the Court should deny Mr. Hear’s Post-Trial Motions, which verge on the frivolous.”
It is unclear at this time just how the wrong individual came to serve on the jury, and it is unclear if the Fairfax Court will recognize Heard’s motion for mistrial.
The jury ordered Heard to pay Depp $15 million in damages and ordered Depp to pay Heard $2 million after finding his order attorney, Adam Waldman, publically defamed her in Depp’s name.
Meanwhile, rumors regarding Depp’s potential return to Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise as Captain Jack Sparrow continue to circle through the air.
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on Disney Movie-related news and stories as more developments come to light.