Amber Heard steps up call for retrial with claims of ‘improper juror service’

Amber Heard’s lawyers have stepped up their demands for a new trial in her multimillion-dollar defamation case with Johnny Depp following claims of “improper juror service”.

In documents filed on Friday, the Aquaman star’s legal team said that “newly discovered facts and information” about an individual juror meant that a mistrial ought to be declared.

Lawyers said that one of the individuals originally summoned to serve in the trial had not appeared and had been replaced by someone else.

Johnny Depp court case

Mr Depp sued his former partner over a 2018 article she wrote for the Washington Post about her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

“Juror No 15 was not the individual summoned for jury duty on April 11, 2022, and therefore was not part of the jury panel and could not have properly served on the jury at this trial,” the documents, seen by the PA news agency , stated.

The documents continued: “As the Court no doubt agrees, it is deeply troubling for an individual not summoned for jury duty nonetheless to appear for jury duty and serve on a jury, especially in a case such as this.”

“This was a high-profile case, where the fact and date of the jury trial were highly publicized prior to and after the issuance of the court summons.”

Lawyers added that Ms Heard had the right “to rely on basic protection… that the jurors in this trial would be individuals who were actually summoned for jury duty”.

“Ms Heard’s due process was therefore compromised,” the documents stated.

“Under these circumstances, a mistrial should be declared, and a new trial ordered.”

Lawyers concluded: “For all the reasons set forth above and in the initial memorandum, Ms Heard respectfully requests this court declare a mistrial due to improper juror service in violation of her due process rights, and order a new trial, and such other action or relief as may be appropriate.”

It comes after the actress’ legal team previously filed claims that the decision returned on June 1 in favor of Mr Depp was not supported by the evidence presented during the six-week trial.

Mr Depp sued his former partner over a 2018 article she wrote for the Washington Post about her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse, which his lawyers said falsely accused him of being an abuser.

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