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depp v. heard

Amber Heard loses bid for new Depp trial over alleged fake juror

A Virginia judge has rejected Amber Heard's bid for a new trial in the Johnny Depp defamation battle over claims someone who wasn't summoned for jury duty ended up serving on the case. 

Judge Penney Azcarate denied the Aquaman star's request for a new trial on Wednesday, finding there was "no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing" to justify it. 

In previous filings, Heard's team claimed that Juror No. 15 "was not, in fact, the same individual as listed on the jury panel" and that it appeared a 77-year-old was summoned to serve on the jury, but a 52-year-old, who apparently lived in the same house and had the same last name, came to court instead, per Deadline. Based on this, Heard's team said the judge should set aside the verdict, which found she defamed her ex-husband in an article about domestic abuse. 

But the judge said Wednesday this juror "met the statutory requirements for service," noting Heard's team was provided with the jury list before the trial began and had the opportunity to catch any potential issues at that point. The judge also said the jury summons didn't have a birth date listed but that the juror who served did provide accurate information about himself. 

"A party cannot wait until receiving an adverse verdict to object, for the first time, on an issue known since the beginning of trial," the judge said, adding that the "only evidence before this court is that this juror and all jurors followed their oaths." Heard is still expected to appeal the verdict.