A month after a Virginia court found Amber Heard guilty of defamation, the actress is asking for the decision to be reversed. In a 43-page memorandum, her legal team says the jury’s verdict should be thrown out, along with the $10.35 million she was ordered to pay in damages because it was not supported by evidence. The 36-year-old, represented by Elaine Bredehoft, argued that Johnny Depp’s claim that he lost his Pirates of the Caribbean role because Amber Heard’s Washington Post op-ed was false. And most concerning of all, one of the jurors wasn’t who they claimed to be.
The unnamed juror cited as Juror #15, has a listed birth year of 1945. But the team for Amber Heard says publicly available information demonstrates that he appears to have been born in 1970. “This discrepancy raises the question of whether Juror 15 actually received a summons for jury duty and was properly vetted by the court to serve on the jury,” the motion says. The document adds that the court clerk’s office is obligated to verify the identity of every juror. But in this instance, it seems like it was not carried out correctly.
An unverified juror is a good reason to call for a mistrial. However, Judge Penney Azcarate previously indicated that she has no intention of scheduling more hearings in the Amber Heard case. In the last legal encounter, on 24 June, Azcarate put the final judgment in the court record after Bredehoft argued for further hearings. She bluntly told Amber Heard’s attorney that if she wanted to appeal the verdict from the seven-person jury, she would have to file motions with the court, The Guardian reports.
The judge also informed Amber Heard that she will have to put up an $8.35m bond with an annual 6% interest before any appeal would move forward. But representatives for the actress said she does not have the money to pay Johnny Depp or meet the bond. In a show of good faith, her ex-husband’s lawyers hinted that the Pirates star might be willing to forgo his share of the award. But the Aquaman alum has since repeated many of her claims against him, most notably during an appearance on Today.
Not long after the verdict, Amber Heard also released a statement slamming the ruling in favor of her ex-husband. “The verdict’s message to victims of domestic violence is… be afraid to stand up and speak out,” a spokesperson for the actress said via Deadline. Her words put the potential consequences of the loss in the starkest and bluntest terms. She currently has plans to appeal the ruling, with her legal team saying that Johnny Depp’s lawyers worked to demonize her and were able to suppress evidence. But at the same time, they also admitted that the actress does not have the money to afford the cost of an appeal.
Although her acting career has taken a hit, Amber Heard has found other ways to make some much-needed cash. The 36-year-old is planning to write a tell-all book, which reveals more details about her relationship with Johnny Depp, OK Magazine reports. “Amber considers her career in Hollywood over. She’s already in talks and is excited about it since he has nothing to lose and wants to tell all,” a source told the publication.