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Entertainment News

Judge rejects motion to declare a mistrial in Johnny Depp defamation case

todayJuly 13, 2022

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Amber Heard was served another legal defeat in a Fairfax, Virginia, courtroom on Wednesday.

Judge Penny Azcarate, who presided over the headline-grabbing defamation case between Johnny Depp and his ex-wife, rejected a motion from Heard’s attorneys to declare a mistrial.

Heard’s legal team’s argument centered on the fact that the age listed on Juror #15’s jury summons was inaccurate.

On Wednesday, the judge denied their motion, stating there was no fraud in the case and so the verdict should stand.

“The juror was vetted, sat for the entire jury, deliberated and reached a verdict,” read Azcarate’s ruling in a filing obtained by ABC News.

“The only evidence before this Court is that this juror and all jurors followed their oaths, the Court’s instructions and orders. This court is bound by the competent decision of the jury,” the ruling concluded.

Further, Azcarate argued that if the defense had an issue with the juror, her attorneys should have brought it up earlier.

As reported in June, the jury decided that Heard defamed Depp in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she said she had been a victim of physical and sexual abuse in her relationship, though she did not identify Depp. The jury agreed with Depp’s attorneys that although the actor wasn’t named in the op-ed, which had been vetted by attorneys before it was published, it was clear who Heard was accusing.

Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, though Virginia law automatically caps the latter to $350,000.

Heard is expected to appeal the verdict after it is finalized.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Written by: ABC News

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