Judge Penney Azcarate, the Fairfax County judge who presided over the six-week spectacle trial, issued a written order, obtained by USA TODAY, denying Heard’s multiple reasons for seeking a do-over trial.
Her ruling was swift: Heard filed her motion seeking to vacate the verdict last week; Depp’s legal team responded on Monday.
“Defendant Amber Laura Heard’s Post-Trial Motions I through VI are DENIED for the reasons stated on the record,” Azcarate’s order read.
In addition, the judge denied Heard’s motion for a mistrial on due process grounds: Heard’s lawyers asserted one of the jurors who ruled against her in favor of Depp was not properly vetted by the court.
The judge said that under Virginia court rules, Heard’s legal team should have raised the issue at the time the jury was picked, and she presented no evidence that Juror 15’s inclusion on the panel “prejudiced” Heard in any way.
“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,” the judge’s order said. “There is no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing”
Through one of his lawyers, Benjamin Chew, Depp said he was “most gratified by the Court’s rulings.”