A US judge has denied Amber Heard’s appeal for a new trial in her defamation case with her ex-husband Johnny Depp. The actress sought to argue that there was improper juror service.
This comes shortly after The Pirates of the Caribbean star’s lawyers responded with a legal filing of their own.
Defamation Judge rejects Amber Heard’s juror claim
Court documents show that Judge Penny Azcarate rejected Heard’s motion to have the verdict thrown out.
Azacarate said the jury made a “competent decision” when they found Amber Heard defamed Depp on all three counts.
As for the juror issue that Heard’s lawyers argued for, Judge Azcarate said it is irrelevant and that Heard couldn’t prove that she had been prejudiced.
“The juror was vetted, sat for the entire jury, deliberated, and reached a verdict,” Azcarate said in court documents, continuing:
“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.”
Azcarate added that the attorneys of the Hollywood star had “an affirmative obligation to ensure the accuracy of the information provided for the jury panel. A party cannot wait until receiving an adverse verdict to object, for the first time, to an issue known since the beginning of the trial,” Courthouse News reports.
“The parties also questioned the jury panel for a full day and informed the court that the jury panel was acceptable,” Azcarate wrote. “There is no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing.”
Depp’s lawyers had called Heard’s appeal verged on “frivolous” and had “no legitimate basis.”
Lawyers representing Heard also argued in a motion in response to the June 1 decision that there was no evidence for the damages awarded to Depp and the compensation and punitive damages were excessive.
Depp and Heard’s lawyers respond to the judge’s decision
Ben Chew responded to the motion in a statement to Courthouse News, saying he is “most gratified by the court’s rulings.”
However, Heard’s lead attorney Elaine Bredehoft said, “We’re disappointed but not surprised.”
The Aquaman actress is not giving up after the circuit court ended her claim. Heard’s lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, confirmed that she will continue to appeal the verdict.
Heard has said that she cannot pay the $10.35million in damages she owes Depp. She is also facing another lawsuit by one of her insurers, who does not want to help pay her hefty defense bill.