Amber Heard will not have a new trial in her libel case against Johnny Depp. Judge Penney Azcarate, who oversaw the six-week show, denied the actress’ attempt to overturn the verdict and the $10.35 million sentence.
lawyers for the aquaman Star, 36, was seeking a mistrial on multiple grounds. One argument they made was that there was apparently a case of mistaken identity with juror 15 in which the wrong person from one household showed up in court. In her order on Wednesday, the judge said the juror correctly filled out the jury questionnaire and was cross-examined by both sides.
“The parties also questioned the jury panel for a full day and informed the Court that the jury panel was acceptable,” Azcarate wrote. “Thus, due process was ensured and provided to all parties in this litigation…there is no evidence of fraud or misconduct.”
The judge added: “The defendant does not allege that the inclusion of the 15th juror on the jury prejudiced her in any way. The juror was investigated, sat by the entire jury, deliberated and reached a verdict. The only evidence before this court is that this juror and all jurors followed their oaths, instructions and orders of the Court. This Court is bound by the competent decision of the jury.”
Heard has yet to rule on the latest legal coup.
Legal experts told Yahoo Entertainment earlier this week that Heard had no grounds for a mistrial.
“Virginia law does not support Amber’s claim that she was denied due process because of the issue with juror 15. Her team had an opportunity to question the juror or raise this issue with the judge at that time. Heard’s team accepted this jury panel with the information they had at the time and no new information has come to light since then. They had the list of jurors who identified the jury information and date of birth. This motion is an understanding, not a real possibility,” legal analyst Emily D. Baker explained.
Depp sued Heard for $50 million over a 2018 op-ed she wrote in which she claimed to have suffered physical and sexual abuse. Although she did not name her ex-husband, the jury agreed that she reasonably inferred that she was the pirates of the Caribbean star. Depp specifically sued for three parts that he said were defamatory and ended his career. Depp won all three and the jury ruled that Heard was never abused, emotionally or physically, by the actor even once. He was awarded $15 million, but due to Virginia state law, the total is $10.35 million.
Heard countersued Depp for $100 million over statements the actor’s lawyer made to the press. She won one of the three and was awarded $2 million in damages. The actress did not reach an agreement with Depp, which the lawyers hinted that she was on the table, and she will probably appeal.
MORE: Amber Heard’s sister posts message of support after Johnny Depp trial: “I’m still with you”
Top video courtesy of NBCUniversal and E! News. For more information, take a look NBC.com.