Court Stenographer in Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard Trial Says a 'Few' Jurors Fell Asleep
By Mona Khalifeh
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The court stenographer in the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard trial is sharing some interesting information about the case following Wednesday's verdict.
In a new interview with the Law & Crime Network, Judy Bellinger, who served as the court reporter on the case, said that some of the jurors fell asleep at points during the trial.
"There were a few jurors who were dozing off," Bellinger said, adding that the sleeping jurors were in both the front and back rows. "And it was tough. There was a lot of video deposition, and they would just sit there and all of a sudden I'd see their head drop."
While the juror's names will be sealed for at least one year, per Judge Penney Azcarate's ruling, Bellinger did reveal that one of the "best" jurors ended up being one of the alternates picked at random, who she noted 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."
The jury on Wednesday reached a verdict after 14 hours of deliberations over the course of three days. After a six-week trial, the jury decided in a unanimous fashion that Depp was defamed by Heard and that she "acted with actual malice."
In the end, the jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Depp's punitive damages, however, were reduced by Azcarate to $350,000 in accordance with the state's statutory cap.
Heard, for her part, was awarded $2 million by the jury in compensatory damages for her counterclaim but nothing in punitive damages. The actress won one of her three claims, with the jury finding Depp liable after his attorney referred to Heard's claims as a "hoax." Heard plans to file an appeal.
Following the jury's verdict, Heard released a statement saying, in part, that she was "heartbroken" and disappointed with the jury's decision. Depp said the jury's decision meant giving him his life back.