WASHINGTON | A US judge on Wednesday denied actress Amber Heard’s request for a new trial in her lawsuit against her former husband Johnny Depp, whom she alleges of domestic violence, which he denies.
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The actress, who recently lost a defamation lawsuit against the Pirates of the Caribbean star, asked for the verdict to be overturned over doubts about the identity of one of the jurors.
But Judge Penney Azcarate, who presided over the trial at the Fairfax Court, denied her request, saying she “didn’t suffer any prejudice” during the trial.
The 36-year-old actress, known for her roles in Justice League and Aquaman, claimed one of the jurors was not the one who received a court summons. He bore the same name, lived at the same address, and the summons contained no date of birth.
It is customary in the United States for a man to bear the same name as his father, with the suffix “Junior” or “III”.
“The jury was approved (by both parties), remained with the jury, deliberated and reached a verdict,” Judge Azcarate wrote in her decision, noting that there was “no evidence of fraud or guilt.”
“The only evidence before this court is that this jury and everyone else honored their oath, the orders and the orders of the court. This court is bound by the competent jury’s decision,” she explained.
Johnny Depp, 59, had sued his ex-wife for defamation, who in a 2018 column published by The Washington Post described herself as “a public figure who represents domestic violence” without naming her ex-husband.
He is seeking $50 million in damages, saying the platform destroyed his career and reputation. Amber Heard countered and demanded the double.
On June 1, after a six-week trial, the Fairfax court jury concluded that the ex-spouses had defamed one another. But they awarded Johnny Depp more than $10 million versus just $2 million for Amber Heard.
The high-profile trial, televised live, was watched by millions of viewers around the world and sparked a flood of abusive messages directed at the actress on social media.
During the trial, she recounted several scenes of violence, including a rape in March 2015 in Australia, where Johnny Depp was filming the fifth episode of Pirates of the Caribbean.
The two actors began a romantic relationship in 2011 and married in 2015. But Amber Heard filed for divorce in 2016 and claims to have been a victim of domestic violence, something Johnny Depp has always denied. She dropped those charges when the divorce was finalized in 2017.