Johnny Depp v Amber Heard jurors ‘fell asleep’ during testimony, stenographer says

‘There were a lot of video depositions... and all of a sudden I’d see their head drop’

Johnny Depp v Amber Heard jurors ‘fell asleep’ during testimony, stenographer says

A court stenographer from the defamation trial involving Johnny Depp and Amber Heard claimed jury members kept falling asleep during the entire six-week-long proceedings.

The jury, that had five men and two women, reached a verdict on Wednesday (1 June) in Mr Depp’s multi-million dollar lawsuit after just 13 hours of deliberation.

They sided mostly with the Pirates of the Caribbean star in the verdict that was announced at Virginia’s Fairfax County Courthouse.

In a new interview with the Law & Crime Network on Monday (6 June), stenographer Judy Bellinger claimed a few jurors fell asleep at multiple points during the trial.

“There were a few jurors who were dozing off,” she said. “And it was tough. There were a lot of video depositions, and they would just sit there, and all of a sudden I’d see their head drop.”

Johnny Depp was awarded $10m in compensatory damages and $5m in punitive damages, while Amber Heard was awarded $2m in damages

Ms Bellinger also claimed that the juror who ended up paying the most attention was “unfortunately” 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,” Ms Bellinger said.

“She was paying close attention.”

In the same interview, Ms Bellinger also pushed back on allegations of bias after she was seen hugging Mr Depp on the last day of the proceedings.

“Johnny was in there, and so I had to go in there and get my equipment, and I saw him, and they’re like ‘he really wants to meet you’,” Ms Bellinger said.

“I was probably in there for less than 10 minutes, and he just hugged me and thanked me again. And I hugged a couple of other people there, and I got my equipment and I came out, left, and went home.”

Mr Depp was awarded $10m in compensatory damages and $5m in punitive damages, while Ms Heard was awarded $2m in damages.

Judge Penney Azcarate later reduced the punitive damages to $350,000, the maximum allowed in the state of Virginia where the trial took place.

Ever since the verdict came out, Mr Depp has been seen travelling and touring around the UK with Jeff Beck.

On Monday (6 June), the two, along with 20 other people, racked up a massive bill at an Indian restaurant in Birmingham.

According to TMZ, the eatery’s Operations Director Mohammed Hussain said Depp’s final bill was around £50,000 ($60,000) in total.

Ms Heard plans to appeal the verdict.

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