Actor Amber Heard is facing another setback in her legal battle against former husband, actor Johnny Depp. Heard's request for a new trial in the case was struck down by Judge Penney Azcarate in Virginia, US.
Judge Azcarate has also rejected Heard’s request to have a new trial for the case. The social media viral defamation trial took place in Virginia, US and lasted for six weeks.
Why did Heard ask for a new trial? In a court filing on July 8, Heard alleged that the jury present during the trial was compromised. The jury member in question is Juror 15.
A jury duty summon was sent to an address in Virginia where 2 individuals with the same last name were residing. One of them is 77 years old and another one is 52 years old. The summon was meant for the 77 year-old resident but instead, the 52 year-old resident showed up for duty, as per Heard's legal team. Names of both individuals have been redacted from the filing.
Why Heard's request for a new trial was struck down: On July 13, Judge Azcarate dismissed Heard’s allegation and said in an order, “Juror 15 was vetted by the Court on the record and met the statutory requirements for service. The parties also questioned the jury panel for a full day and informed the Court that the jury panel was acceptable. Therefore, Due Process was guaranteed and provided to all parties in this litigation.”
Judge Azcarate went on to say in the order that Heard’s legal team has neither alleged nor could present any proof that Juror 15 was in any way prejudiced against Heard.
How Depp reacted: A member of Depp's legal team, Benjamin Chew, said that Depp was 'most gratified by the Court’s rulings'.
Recap: As per the verdict in the defamation case, Depp was awarded US $15 million in damages in his defamation trial and Heard was awarded US $2 million in her defamation countersuit.
Depp had filed a US $50 million defamation case against Heard for her 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post. Heard had filed a counter-defamation case against Depp for US $100 million.