Johnny Depp is not going to let Amber Heard off the hook that easily!
On Friday, his ex-wife filed a complaint claiming that one of the jurors who had a hand in the verdict of their defamation case was a fake! According to the document obtained by TMZ, Amber and her team claimed Juror #15 was not who they said they were. Apparently, per the claims, a 77-year-old citizen had been summoned to jury duty, but a 52 year old with the same last name (at least), who lived at the same residence the summons was sent to, showed up instead. Because this hadn’t been caught by the court in time, Amber’s team wants the verdict thrown out — and for a new trial to take place. Pretty wild stuff!!
Now, Johnny’s team is finally clapping back at that shocking claim — and, just as we’d expect, they are NOT backing down!!
According to Deadline on Monday, Depp’s team thinks the trial was completely fair – whether or not there was a fake juror on the bench. In a memorandum, they argued:
“Following a six-week jury trial, a jury of Ms. Heard’s peers rendered a verdict against her in virtually all respects. Though understandably displeased with the outcome of trial, Ms. Heard has identified no legitimate basis to set aside in any respect the jury’s decision.”
The lawyers also pointed to the local legislature, adding:
“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 Ms. Heard’s Post-Trial Motions, which verge into the frivolous.”
They’re not only asking for Heard’s motion to be denied, they are claiming that she has no right to be mad about the alleged imposter in the jury because she KNEW about it WAY before the trial even began!! OK, that might change things…
The actor’s new filing argues:
“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. Heard 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.”
Damn! He really called her out! Amber’s filing already felt like a strategic move as she contemplates filing an appeal (which would require her to pay a bond in the amount of her full judgment and then some), but now… yeesh!
If the 36-year-old actress really cared about a fair jury — and if it’s true that she and her lawyers spotted the fake juror before the trial began — then why didn’t they bring that up before the verdict was decided?! Did they happen to prefer a younger juror until it didn’t work out in their favor? Or something else? It doesn’t make a lot of sense unless it was just a clever way to try and fight back if they lost.
If it was an imposter juror, then of course it’s absolutely s**tty it was allowed to happen at all. But if they did know about it and didn’t bring it up, will that affect the court’s decision? Wouldn’t that have been unfair for Depp too? Remember, he didn’t win the entire trial.
Speaking of the verdict, Amber was required to pay her ex-husband $10.35 million in damages for publishing a defamatory Washington Post op-ed in 2018. She was awarded $2 million for her countersuit. While Johnny’s team has claimed this fight was never about the money, he’s certainly fighting for it now!
According to TMZ, the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory star’s legal team believes there is clear evidence that Amber really does owe him at least $10 million in damages based on the work he lost out on as a result of her op-ed. In their opinion, the judgment accurately reflects the damages he suffered — in fact, it’s a LOT less than he would have earned had nothing gotten in the way of his career!
A look at 2018, when the article was published, shows how quickly the 59-year-old’s job prospects dried up the second people thought he might be an abuser, according to the team from Brown Rudnick. Per his attorneys, he didn’t book a large studio film from time the article dropped until October 2020. That alone supports the $10 million judgment, they say.
Furthermore, they also pointed out the infamous sixth Pirates of the Caribbean film that was scrapped around the time the article was published. In the legal docs, Johnny’s team references one of the actor’s representatives, who was negotiating a $22.5 million deal for Captain Jack Sparrow to return in the sixth installment of the franchise. Just before the op-ed made headlines, producer Jerry Bruckheimer was supposedly all in, saying that he wanted his star performer in the next film. But that all changed as soon as the allegations were made public. The lawyers also insist that a team of experts who spoke during the trial proved that his estimated financial loss was more than $40 million — so Amber should be pretty happy she only got stuck with a forth of that!
Interestingly, though, Johnny has been very outspoken about not wanting to rejoin the franchise — even if he was offered hundreds of millions of dollars, which he reportedly has been these days — so, it’s inneresting that the franchise continues to be such a strong talking point in his case if he has supposedly been there, done that.
For Amber’s part, we know she is vying for a mistrial, especially considering her former insurance company, The New York Marine and General Insurance Company, just filed a complaint asking not to be responsible for any of her legal fees or the $8 mil she owes her ex! Thoughts on this, Perezcious readers?! Who do you think will win this time?