One of the jurors in the widely publicized Amber Heard-Johnny Depp defamation case has spoken up about their verdict for the first time. In a video interview with ABC News and speaking under anonymity, the juror stated that the jury had ultimately ruled largely in Depp’s favor due to not finding Amber Heard believable and that her story did not “add up.” The juror was one of seven (and one of five men) who found the verdict that Amber Heard had substantially defamed Johnny Depp via a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post in which she described herself as a survivor of domestic abuse. While she did not mention Depp by name, his legal case rested on the argument that the public would assume it was referencing him. Per the juror speaking to ABC News in this case, they apparently found that more compelling than Amber Heard.
In the video (in which he spoke off-camera), the juror described Amber Heard’s testimony as “not realistic” and that the way she looked at the jury made them “very comfortable.” He went on to say that the rapidity with which the Aquaman actor’s emotional reactions shifted during her testimony in the trial made them less believable. Specifically, he said:
She would answer one question and she would be crying and two seconds later she would turn ice cold… Some of us used the expression ‘crocodile tears.
The juror in the Amber Heard-Johnny Depp case also said that the jury found the latter to be “more real” and stable in terms of his emotional reactions during the highly fraught, extremely tense case. The anonymous juror said that at the end of the case, the jury believed that both Amber Heard and Johnny Depp had been abusive to each other, though he did not believe Depp had been physically abusive to Heard.
According to the juror, they were also not given any guidelines for the monetary compensations in the verdict and essentially had to make guesses as to what they felt was appropriate. Johnny Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages (reduced by the judge to $350,000), while Amber Heard was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages. Notably, the juror also referenced Amber Heard’s conflicting claims to have alternately donated or pledged her divorce settlement from Johnny Depp to various charities also reflected poorly upon her in the jury’s eyes.
Since the conclusion of the case, Amber Heard’s legal team has been highly critical of the fact that the jury was not sequestered (which is not common in a civil case such as this one) and claimed that social media had unduly influenced them. The juror himself denied this, claiming to not have either a Facebook or Twitter account and that the other members of the jury had not discussed social media.
In her own first interview since the verdict, Amber Heard said she did “not blame” the jury for finding the verdict that they did and that she thought it would be impossible for a jury member to not be swayed by social media that she claimed was overwhelmingly on her former spouse’s side.