Johnny Depp Verdict Thrown Into Chaos As Wrong Juror Seated In Virginia Trial, Amber Heard Says

EXCLUSIVE: If there wasn’t enough drama swirling around Johnny Depp’s win last month over Amber Heard in his multi-million defamation suit, things have now turned judicially weird.

“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,” says a new filing today by the Aquaman star’s legal team.

“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 adds in language very 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.”

However, unlike the previous motion and memorandum placed in the Fairfax County courthouse docket late last month to dismiss the June 1 verdict and get a new trial, this supplemental memo has a lot more details on what could snatch victory from the former Pirates of the Caribbean star in his long legal battle with his ex-wife and Rum Diary co-star.

According to today’s redacted filing the summons for jury duty was sent out to a Virginia resident in April of this year for the much delayed and upcoming $15 million defamation action Depp had set off in March 2019 against Heard for a late 2018 Washington Post op-ed she penned on being the “public face” of domestic abuse. However, also according to today’s filing, it seems tat there are two individuals residing at the same address with at the very least “the same last name.”

One of them is a 77-year old individual and one is a 52-year old individual.

The former was the one being summoned, but it looks like the latter was the one who showed up.

Not noticed by any officers or clerks of the court, the younger individual made it all the way to the jury. 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 defense team now want so explanations and want to see some consequences, and that could take the shine off Team Depp:

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 juror summonses. Virginia has in place statutory code provisions designed to ensure the person called for jury duty is the person arriving for jury duty.

Fairfax County’s Juror Questionnaire webpage furthers this goal by requiring all County residents to login using their 7-digit Juror number, Zip code, and “Birth Date.” Att. 5 (emphasis added). Those safeguards are in place and relied upon by the parties to verify the identity of the correct juror, to ensure due process and a fair trial for all litigants. When these safeguards are circumvented or not followed, as appears to be the case here, the right to a jury trial and due process are undermined and compromised

Neither reps for Heard or Depp responded to request for comment from Deadline on Friday’s filing. We are also attempting to contact the Old Dominion court for insight as well.

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