Reportedly, a few of the jurors from the Johnny v. Amber Heard defamation case struggled to stay awake during the entire six-week trial, according to the court stenographer.
A seven-person jury, consisting of five men and two women, took Depp’s side in their verdict that was handed down on Wednesday afternoon in Virginia’s Fairfax County Courthouse.
Court Stenographer In the Johnny Depp Defamation Case Says a ‘Few’ Jurors Fell Asleep During Trial
They awarded Depp $15 million in damages (which was reduced to $10.35 million due to state law), finding that Heard defamed her ex-husband in her 2018 op-ed about domestic abuse, despite not mentioning him by name in the article.
Heard was awarded $2 million in damages and plans to appeal the verdict.
In a clip from a new interview with Judy Bellinger, who served as the court reporter and was called a “rockstar” by Judge Penney Azcarate, stated that a “few” of the jurors drifted asleep at points during the trial. However, the jurors’ names will be sealed for at least one year.
“There were a few jurors who were dozing off,” she said, adding that the sleeping jurors were in both the front and back rows. “And it was tough. There were a lot of video deposition, and they would just sit there, and all of a sudden I’d see their head drop.”
Bellinger also added how the “best” juror who paid the most attention ended up being one of the alternates picked at random and was not involved in the final verdict.
“Unfortunately, the one alternate that was on there, she was probably the one that listened the most. I watched her facial expressions, she was very deeply into every word that was being said. I thought she would’ve made a great juror, and she did not get to see it to the end.”
“She was paying close attention,” added Bellinger.
After the verdict, Depp, 58, who was not present in the courtroom, said in a statement that the “jury gave me my life back.” Heard, 36, wrote in her own statement that she was “heartbroken” over the “setback” for women.
“I believe Johnny’s attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech and ignore evidence that was so conclusive that we won in the U.K.,” she wrote, in part. “I’m sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American — to speak freely and openly.”
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