Amber Heard’s lawyers call for re-trial of defamation case due to ‘improper juror service’ | Ents & Arts News


Amber Heard’s lawyers have made another call for a re-trial of her defamation case with Johnny Depp.

In documents filed on Friday, the actress’s legal team said that one of the people originally summoned to serve as a juror in the trial had not appeared and had been replaced by someone else.

The documents, reported by the PA news agency, said: “Juror No 15 was not the individual summoned for jury duty on 11 April, 2022, and therefore was not part of the jury panel and could not have properly served on the jury at this trial.

“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.

“This was a high-profile case, where the fact and date of the jury trial were highly publicised prior to and after the issuance of the juror summonses.”

Lawyers added that Ms Heard had the right “to rely on basic protection… that the jurors in this trial would be individuals who were actually summoned for jury duty”.

“Ms Heard’s due process was therefore compromised,” the documents stated.

“Under these circumstances, a mistrial should be declared, and a new trial ordered.”

Johnny Depp in court during the closing arguments of his libel trial against Amber Heard

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The news comes just days after Heard’s lawyers made another call for a re-trial, claiming the original judgment had not been supported by evidence.

Depp sued Heard, his former partner, over a 2018 article she wrote for the Washington Post about her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse, which his lawyers said falsely accused him of being an abuser.

Depp denied abusing Heard and told jurors that his ex-wife’s allegations of domestic violence were “heinous and disturbing”.

Heard insisted her article was not about her ex-husband, but about the “bigger cultural conversation” surrounding the #MeToo movement at the time.

After six weeks of testimony, the court case came to an end on 1 June, with the jury finding that the article was defamatory towards Depp, who was awarded $10.35m (£8.2m) in damages.

Actor Amber Heard leaves during a break in the courtroom during closing arguments during her ex-husband Johnny Depp's defamation case against her at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S., May 27, 2022. Steve Helber/Pool via REUTERS

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Heard did win on one count of her counter-suit, successfully arguing that one of Depp’s attorneys defamed her by claiming her allegations were “an abuse hoax” aimed at capitalising on the #MeToo movement.

The jury awarded her $2m (£1.5m) in damages.

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