Amber Heard's Lawyer Doubles Down On Mysterious Juror 15 As She Attempts To Get Johnny Depp Verdict Thrown Out

Amber Heard smiling in court.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s heated defamation trial ended in early June, but the drama hasn’t slowed down since then. The past several weeks have seen the two and others associated with the case share thoughts on the matter while also dealing with the verdict, which mostly fell in Depp’s favor. But more recently, Heard’s lawyers made a major attempt to get the verdict thrown out after making claims of an error with Juror 15. Now, the actress’ legal team is doubling down on those efforts via a new filing, which provides more details concerning their argument. 

For those who need a bit of context, Amber Heard’s team filed legal documents in Fairfax County, Virginia on July 1, which asked that Johnny Depp’s monetary award from the case be set aside. Heard’s team claimed there was a supposed lack of evidence that he was truly damaged by her 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post. Within that same memorandum, the group also questioned the presence of Juror 15, who they claim may have “compromised” Heard’s due process. They asserted that the unnamed juror summoned was born in 1945 but that the person who ultimately served was born in 1970. With this, the star’s attorneys are skeptical as to whether said person “actually received a summons for jury duty and was properly vetted by the Court to serve on the jury.”

The actress’ legal representation shared more on this assumption in a new filing that was submitted on July 8 and shared with Deadline. Per the documents, the jury summons (which was sent out in April) went to a residence occupied by two people that possess “the same last name,” at the very least. One person is said to be 52 years old and the other 72, with the latter being the individual who was meant to be summoned. The starlet’s representation questioned how the former, who ultimately served, was able to get through the vetting process without any notice of the alleged error. They went on to say in the filing: 

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 publicized prior to and after the issuance of the juror summonses. Virginia has in place statutory code provisions designed to ensure the person called for jury duty is the person arriving for jury duty.

In the July 1 filing, Amber Heard’s team acknowledged that a jury misstep like the one they’re attempting to argue doesn’t typically justify a mistrial. They still feel, however, that an alleged case of mistaken identity with Juror 15 does constitute a due process violation. As of this writing, neither Heard nor Johnny Depp’s teams have responded to this most recent development. 

Johnny Depp was initially awarded a compensatory $10 million as well as $5 million in punitive damages, while his ex-wife received $2 million in compensatory damages from her $100 million countersuit. Due to the punitive damages being lowered, the Aquaman star is now required to pay $ 8.3 million, which her legal team argues she’s unable to pay. She’s not the only one needing to shell out cash, either, as Depp himself is also looking at some additional legal fees after a recent ruling. 

Aside from the financial side of things, much has been said about the jury and their role in the legal proceedings. The Pirates of the Caribbean star’s lawyers have discussed why they think Amber Heard didn’t resonate with the jurors. They believe that it came down to “accountability” and that Heard didn’t take ownership of her alleged faults. Heard’s own lawyers have claimed that she was “demonized” and that the jury was influenced by social media vitriol. One juror, who remained anonymous, has since spoken out and claimed that they and their colleagues did not believe the actress’ “crocodile tears” and viewed Depp as being more sincere. 

It remains to be seen whether the court takes these new details shared by Amber Heard’s legal team into account. One thing that does seem clear, though, is that the fallout from the defamation trial between her and Johnny Depp is far from finished.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.