Amber Heard officially declared her plan to appeal the verdict of her ex-husband Johnny Depp‘s $50 million defamation lawsuit against her on June 24. Now, just two weeks later, Amber, 36, may get the retrial she’s after. In court documents submitted on July 8 in the circuit court of Fairfax County, Va., the Aquaman actress‘ lawyers claimed one of the jurors who partook in the case was not supposed to be there in the first place, per Deadline.
“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,” the partially redacted filing reads. “In this case, it appears that Juror No. 15 was not, in fact, the same individual as listed on the jury panel. Ms. Heard’s due process was therefore compromised. Under these circumstances, a mistrial should be declared, and a new trial ordered.”
According to the document, a Virginia resident received a jury duty summons in April of this year for the trial that began on April 11. Amber’s attorneys believe two people with the same name resided at the address to which the letter was sent, and the wrong one showed up for jury duty. One individual is 52 years old, while the other is 77. The latter was the person who was actually summoned, and somehow, the younger was able to get through to the trial without the error being detected. “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 continued.
HollywoodLife reached out to Johnny’s team about the new turn of events but did not immediately hear back. The Edward Scissorhands actor, 58, originally sued Amber in 2019 for $50 million after she wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post in 2018 and described herself as a survivor of domestic abuse. While Johnny’s name was never mentioned in Amber’s writing, Johnny and his lawyers said the piece damaged his reputation and barred him from several lucrative movie deals. Amber countersued for $100 million, also claiming defamation.
In the end, the jury awarded Johnny $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, although the judge reduced the compensatory damages to $350,000 due to Virginia’s cap. Amber was awarded $2 million, making her payment to Johnny $8.35 million. Amber’s lawyers immediately declared their plan to appeal and said the actress cannot afford the bill.