Judge Rejects Amber Heard’s Claim of Jury Fraud in Johnny Depp Defamation Trial

Heard's lawyers had argued that a 52-year-old had knowingly impersonated his father

amber heard juror fraud judge rules dismisses mistrial

A judge has rejected Amber Heard’s motion for a new trial, ruling that a mix-up between a 52-year-old man and his 77-year-old father did not constitute jury fraud.

The jury awarded Johnny Depp $10.35 million in his defamation lawsuit, and Heard has not yet filed an appeal, possibly because Judge Penny Azcarate ordered her to pay an $8.3 million bond before any appeal could go forward. Instead, she’s focused her legal efforts on this father and son.

While the identities of the two men have been redacted, they live together, and publicly available information suggests that they also share a name, although it’s unknown if one is a “Jr.” or “II.” But the 77-year-old was summoned for jury duty, and instead the 52-year-old showed up, ultimately getting enrolled on the jury. Heard’s legal team argued that in an online information form, the 52-year-old had confirmed he had been born in 1945, implying that he had willfully impersonated his father’s identity.

Judge Azcarate disagreed. As TMZ reports, she emphasized that the summons did not include a birth date, so either of the men could have been legally empaneled. Furthermore, she agreed with Depp’s legal team, and said that the jury selection process and six-week trial had been more than enough time to bring up this concern.

Finally, the judge dismissed Heard’s argument that the $10 million award was excessive and should be lowered. Heard has said that she cannot afford to pay it.

Meanwhile, Depp recently unveiled a reunion with The Hollywood Vampires, his supergroup with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry. On Friday, he’s expected to release his new album, 18made in collaboration with Jeff Beck.


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