Los Angeles: The drama surrounding Johnny Depp’s multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife and ‘Aquaman’ star Amber Heard, refuses to die. Things have turned judicially weird, as a wrong juror took the chair during the legal proceedings, reports ‘Deadline’.
A partially redacted new filing by the Aquaman star’s legal team, accessed by ‘Deadline’, read, “Ms Heard had a right to rely on the basic protection, as prescribed by the Virginia Code, that the jurors in this trial would be individuals who were actually summoned for jury duty.”
“In this case, it appears that Juror No. 15 was not, in fact, the same individual as listed on the jury panel,” attorney Elaine Bredehoft added in language similar to a previous filing of June 24.
“Ms Heard’s due process was therefore compromised. Under these circumstances, a mistrial should be declared, and a new trial ordered.”
According to ‘Deadline’, unlike the previous motion and memorandum placed in the Fairfax County courthouse docket late last month to dismiss the June 1 verdict and allow a new trial, today’s supplemental memo has a lot more details on what could snatch victory from Depp in his long legal battle with his ex-wife.
According to the redacted filing, accessed by ‘Deadline’, the summons for jury duty was sent out to a Virginia resident in April for the much-delayed $15 million defamation action Depp had set off in March 2019 against Heard for a 2018 ‘Washington Post’ op-ed she penned on being the “public face” of domestic abuse.
Also, according to the recent filing, it seems that there are two individuals residing at the same address with, at the very least, “the same last name” – one a 77-year-old and another a 52-year-old.
The former was the one summoned, but it looks like the latter was the one who showed up. “Thus, the 52-year-old [redacted] sitting on the jury for six weeks was never summoned for jury duty on April 11 and did not ‘appear in the list’, as required,” the filing asserts.
Not noticed by officers or clerks of the court, the younger individual made it all the way to the jury without apparently ever being asked to produce any ID, or with perhaps fake ID, the filing implies. Additionally, it looks like someone filled out the required online information form either intentionally or accidentally to say that they were born in 1945.
Unaware of this at the time and during the media-frenzied trial, Heard’s defence team now wants an explanation and to see some consequences, which could take the shine off Team Depp.