Amber Heard's request for a new trial in Johnny Depp's defamation lawsuit against her has been denied. The actress' legal team filed new paperwork this week asking for a new trial on the grounds that one juror was not summoned to jury duty. According to a report by Deadline, Judge Penny Azcarte ruled against her on Wednesday.
Heard's latest filing shows that Juror 15 in her high-profile trial earlier this year was not the same person who was summoned to jury duty. Instead, someone else with the same last name who lives at the same address showed up and took their place. Heard's attorneys made the case that this was a violation of Virginia state law and grounds for a complete retrial, but Azcarte disagreed.
"The juror was vetted, sat for the entire jury, deliberated, and reached a verdict," her new order read. "The only evidence before this Court is that this juror and all jurors followed their oaths, the Court's instructions, and orders. This Court is bound by the competent decision of the jury."
The summons was originally addressed to a 77-year-old man, but was answered by a 52-year-old man with the same last name. Heard's team first brought this to the court's attention on June 8, and then again on June 24 and once more last week. Depp's legal team responded in their own statement on Monday.
"Following a six-week jury trial, a jury of Ms. Heard's peers rendered a verdict against her in virtually all respects," they wrote. "Though understandably displeased with the outcome of trial, Ms. Heard has identified no legitimate basis to set aside in any respect the jury's decision. Virginia law is clear that a verdict is not to be set aside unless it is 'plainly wrong or without evidence to support it.' Here, the verdict was well supported by the overwhelming evidence, consistent with the law, and should not be set aside. Mr. Depp respectfully submits that the Court should deny Ms. Heard's Post-Trial Motions, which verge into the frivolous."
This decision means that Heard is still on the hook for $10 million in damages to Depp's reputation. While this is not the full $50 million that Depp originally sought, most viewers perceived it as an overall victory for Depp. Heard maintains her innocence – both of defamation and of spousal abuse.