A juror in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial is speaking out for the first time – and revealing how the verdict was reached.
Good Morning America spoke with a male member of the jury, whose identity was concealed and who spoke off-camera, and in his opinion, Heard just wasn’t believable. The seven jurors – five men and two women —who reached the verdict felt the Aquaman actress’s story “didn’t add up” and thought she shed “crocodile tears” on the stand, they said. They also felt Heard and Depp were both abusive to each other, but didn’t think Depp was physically abusive.
“A lot of Amber’s story didn’t add up,” the juror said. “The majority of the jury felt she was more of an aggressor.”
Heard testified that Depp physically abused her and sexually assaulted her during their four-year relationship. Depp vehemently denied the allegations. His defamation suit stemmed from Heard writing about surviving domestic abuse in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed. Depp sued her for $ 50 million and she counted for $ 100 million.
The juror said they all felt Heard’s testimony wasn’t realistic. Her crying, her facial expressions and how she stared at the jury made them “very uncomfortable.”
“She would answer one question and she would be crying and two seconds later she would turn ice cold,” the juror said. “Some of us used the expression ‘crocodile tears.'”
He said they felt Depp “was more believable” at the end of the day. “He just seeded a little more real in terms of how he was answering questions. His emotional state was very stable throughout.”
The juror said Heard claiming she donated her $ 7 million divorce settlement from Depp to charity – when she only really only pledged it, or said she planned to give it – was “a fiasco for her.”
“She goes on a talk show in the UK,” he said. “The video shows her sitting there telling the host that she gave all that money away… But the fact is she didn’t give much of it away at all.” (Heard paid $ 350,000 directly; some donations were also made on her behalf.)
The juror denied Heard’s attorney Elaine Charlson Bredehoft’s comments that the jury was influenced by social media in their decision. Social media, especially TikTok, favored Depp.
“We followed the evidence,” he said, noting he and at least two others didn’t even have Facebook or Twitter accounts.
They said at the end of the day, they felt what was “truthful” was that the couple whose divorce was settled in 2016, “were both abusive to each other” – although they didn’t believe Depp was physically abusive to Heard.
“I don’t think it makes either of them right or wrong,” he said. “But to rise to the level of what she was claiming, there wasn’t enough or any evidence that really supported what she was saying.”
He also said the jury was given no guidance on the amount of money to award. Each juror threw out a number they thought was fair. Depp was ultimately awarded $ 10 million in compensatory damages and $ 5 million in punitive damages (the latter reduced to $ 350,000 per state guidelines) while Heard was awarded $ 2 million in compensatory damages stemming from her lawyer calling her abuse allegations a hoax.
As for the attorneys for Depp and Heard, he felt the actor’s team – including Ben Chew and social media star Camille Vasquez – was “sharp,” while her team had “sharp elbows,” meaning they were abrupt and often interrupted.
Before the verdict was announced on June 1, the court agreed to a request by Heard to seal the names of the jurors for one year. The document granting the request did not state why the decision was made.
Heard, who spoke out for the first time to Today this week, plans to appeal this summer. She felt the jurors were influenced by social media, Depp’s star power and his legal team vilifying her.
Depp will be back in court next month, with Vasquez representing him, for a personal injury lawsuit which was filed against him by Gregg “Rocky” Brooks. Brooks, the location manager for the film City of Lies, alleged that Depp punched him twice in the ribs before saying he would pay him $ 100,000 to punch him back in the face in 2017. Depp’s attorneys got Brooks “provoked” Depp during an exchange and Depp acted in self-defense.