Amber Heard's Jury Fraud Claims Quickly Dismissed By Judge

A judge has shut down Amber Heard's request for a new trial on Wednesday, dismissing the claim that one of the jurors in the defamation case between her and ex-husband Johnny Depp had committed fraud.

After a jury ruled that Heard had defamed Depp in June, Heard and her legal team sought a retrial, citing several different reasons why the initial trial had been illegitimate. One of the biggest claims was an alleged fraud committed by Juror 15, who was accused of taking the summons from his father who goes by the same name.

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A judge dismissed Amber Heard's request for a retrial and dismissed the claim that a juror in the defamation trial committed fraud. In this photo, Heard testifies in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 16, 2022. STEVE HELBER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

"Juror 15 had a birth year of 1945. Juror 15, however, was clearly born later than 1945. Publicly available information demonstrates that he appears to have been born in 1970," The filing submitted by Heard's lawyers said.

However, on Wednesday, Judge Penney Azcarate, who was the judge during the six-week defamation trial, dismissed the Aquaman star's motion. Azcarate ruled that no fraud was committed because the summons did not include a birth date, according to a tweet from Angenette Levy of Law and Crime Network.

Azcarate's order, which was obtained by USA Today, said: "Juror Fifteen was vetted by the court on the record and met the statutory requirements for service. The parties also questioned the jury panel for a full day and informed the court that the jury panel was acceptable. Therefore, due process was guaranteed and provided to all parties in this litigation. There is no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing."

Azcarate added that under Virginia's court rules, Heard's legal team should have brought up the issue a potential issue with the juror when the jury was first seated.

The order also dismissed Heard's claim that the $10 million compensatory damage award to Depp was "excessive," a notion that Depp's lawyers responded to in a memorandum last week.

"While Ms. Heard slings an exceptional amount of mud at the wall in the hope that something might stick, the jury's verdict on damages was perfectly reasonable and supported by the evidence and testimony in this case," Depp's team said.

The actress still owes Depp $8.5 million in damages after they were both found liable for defamation in their lawsuits against each other, and Heard's lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, has publicly said that the actress is unable to pay the full amount.

While a new trial between the two actors—whose tumultuous relationship and lawsuit captured the internet's attention—is now off the table, Heard has pledged she plans to appeal the ruling, though experts have claimed that her appeal might cost her even more than the $8.5 million she owes.

Newsweek has reached out to a representative for Amber Heard for comment.

Update 7/13/22 2:42 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional information.