The court stenographer in Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit against the actor’s ex-wife, Amber Heard, said she witnessed several jurors dozing off during the court proceedings.
In an interview with Law & Crime Network, Judy Bellinger said that at points during the six-week trial, jurors in both the front and back rows fell asleep.
“It was tough because there was a lot of video deposition,” Bellinger said in the interview.
Both Depp and Heard called more than a dozen witnesses each, many of whom testified via web video or pre-recorded statements. Bellinger seemed to suggest that these testimonies were often more difficult to pay attention to than witnesses speaking live in court.
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Bellinger said that when she observed the seven-member jury, she would occasionally see the heads of certain members fall, as if she were asleep.
Anders said the jury “listened very carefully” and “attentionally” during the trial.
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She also mentioned a deputy juror who wasn’t on the jury for deliberations but, according to Bellinger, was more enthusiastic than the rest.
“The only deputy was probably the one who listened the most,” she said. “I looked at her facial expressions. She went very deep into every word that was said. I thought she would be a great judge, but she didn’t get to see it to the end.”
Bellinger went on to claim that the deputy juror “was paying close attention” and “never dozing off.”
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On June 1, a jury in Fairfax, Virginia, ruled in favor of Depp, 58, and concluded that he had in fact been defamed by Heard, 36, on three counts, and awarded him $15 million in damages. This amount was later reduced by the judge to $10.35 million due to state law.
Heard also got a partial win, receiving $2 million on a claim that Depp’s former attorney and press agent defamed her when he brought her allegations of domestic violence against the pirates of the caribbean actor designed “a hoax of abuse” to profit from the #MeToo movement.
Last week, Heard’s attorney, Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, claimed that the… Aquarius actor would appeal the verdict of this trial, adding that she “has some excellent reasons for it”. She said Heard is “definitely unable” to pay the $10 million verdict.
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