Thursday, June 16, 2022

ABC News Channels A Juror, Undercutting Heard’s Wildeyed Claims On Other US Networks

Posted by Peter Quennell

(1) Scroll down for viewer comments. (2) See at foot for UK lawyer analysis.

Additionally to the video analysis at bottom there is this newer longer one examining the whole of the pussyfooting NBC Dateline interview with Heard.

Context

The NBC network has aired an interview in several parts with Amber Heard.

This now looks like a disaster. Informed court-watchers have gone to town both on the timid and ill-prepared NBC interviewer and on Amber Heard over her multitude of unchallenged conspiracy theories (some excellent comments there).

And now, unsurprisingly, the jury starts to push back against Amber Heard’s incessant media trashing of them. The GMA website carries the video above and also this telling reporting.

By Mark Guarino & Doug Lantz

A juror in the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial said in an interview that aired Thursday on “Good Morning America” that when the actress cried during her testimony the jury saw only “crocodile tears.”

“It didn’t come across as believable,” he said. “It seemed like she was able to flip the switch on her emotions. She would answer one question and she would be crying and two seconds later she would turn ice cold. It didn’t seem natural.”

Depp, he said, “just seemed a little more real in terms of how he responded to questions.”

The juror, one of seven jurors during the six-week trial, spoke exclusively to “GMA” and is the only juror on record to speak publicly about the case. He asked to have his name not used for this report.

In early June, a jury in Fairfax, Virginia, awarded Depp more than $10 million in damages; Heard received $2 million in her countersuit.

The catalyst for defamation countersuits was a 2018 op-ed Heard wrote in The Washington Post in which she said she “became a public figure representing domestic abuse.”

Depp argued that suggested she was victimized by him, although she never identified him by name.

‘Why would you buy the other person a knife?’

Heard’s credibility was suspect throughout the duration of the trial, the juror said. Besides how she acted on the stand, several other factors led the jury to believe Heard was not credible, the juror said.

The jury concluded “they were both abusive to each other” but Heard’s team failed to prove Depp’s abuse was physical.

“They had their husband-wife arguments. They were both yelling at each other. I don’t think that makes either of them right or wrong. That’s what you do when you get into an argument, I guess. 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 said.

Heard, the juror said, was considered the aggressor in the relationship by the majority of the jury. “If you have a battered wife or spouse situation, why would you buy the other person, the ‘aggressor,’ a knife? If you really wanted to help Johnny Depp get off drugs, why are you taking drugs around him?” he asked.

Heard testified she purchased Depp a large knife as a gift, which Depp’s legal team presented to jurors.

The juror said that photographs Heard took of her ex-husband also fell flat. Although the defense used them to show Depp’s decrepit state after a drug or alcohol binge, the juror said they failed to make an impact.

“If you mix alcohol and marijuana, that’s where you usually end up—passed out,” he said. “We discussed at length that a lot of the drugs she said he used, most of them were downers. And you usually don’t get violent on downers. You become a zombie, as those pictures show.”

In his testimony, Depp also admitted to cocaine use, a stimulant, and Heard testified he was frequently doing the drug in her presence.

No make-up: no credibility

The juror also said the jury essentially dismissed all witnesses on both sides who were employees, paid experts, friends or family from either side.

Also suspect were the photos that Heard’s team presented that purported to show bruising on the actress’ face. Two photos presented near the end of the trial were not credible to the jury, he said.

They believed the accusation by Depp’s team that one photo was edited to artificially redden Heard’s face to suggest bruising. Heard testified the photos looked different because of a “vanity light.”

“Those were two different pictures. We couldn’t really tell which picture was real and which one was not,” the juror told “GMA.”

The juror also said the defense failed Heard by telling them that the actress “never goes outside without make-up on,” he said. “Yet she goes to file the restraining order without make-up on. And it just so happens her publicist is with her. Those things add up and starts to become hard to believe,” he said.

$7 million donation that never happened was ‘a fiasco’ for Heard

The juror said the four-hour debate over the difference between a pledged donation and an actual donation ended up “a fiasco” for Heard.

On the stand, Heard testified she never finished donating all $7 million from her divorce settlement to two charities because she didn’t want Depp to reap the tax benefits by sending her settlements to the charities directly.

Heard testified that a pledge and a donation are “synonymous with one another” and “mean the same thing.” The jury was shown video of Heard on a Dutch talk show saying she gave her donation to the charities.

“The fact is, she didn’t give much of it away at all,” the juror said. “It was disingenuous.”

He blamed Heard’s legal team for giving her poor advice, such as looking directly at the jury when responding to questions. “All of us were very uncomfortable” at that, he said.

He also said her team “had sharp elbows versus being sharp.”

“They would cut people off in cross because they wanted one specific answer without context. They were forcing people to just answer a very narrow question ... which was obvious,” he said.

“She needs better advice,” he said of Heard.

Publishing the 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post that defamed Depp was a poor choice, he said. “If she didn’t do any of this stuff with the op-eds, Johnny Depp could have helped her out in her career. They didn’t leave things on a nasty turn,” when they divorced, he said. “It turned nasty after the op-ed.”

‘We only looked at the evidence’

The juror denied the jury was swayed by outside forces. He and “at least” three others did not have Twitter accounts.

“Some people said we were bribed. That’s not true. Social media did not impact us. We followed the evidence. We didn’t take into account anything outside [the courtroom]. We only looked at the evidence,” he said. “They were very serious accusations and a lot of money involved. So we weren’t taking it lightly.”

The juror also said that no one on the jury was starstruck and their individual celebrity never played a factor in their decision. While he admitted he knew of Depp more than Heard, he hadn’t seen many of his films. “None of us were really fans of either one of them,” he said.

Asked whether he would go see a future movie starring Depp or Heard, the juror said it would depend on the movie.

“What they do in their personal lives doesn’t affect me whatsoever. Going to movies is entertainment. I go for the quality of the movie or the storyline,” he said. “Not for the acting.”

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/16/22 at 08:41 PM in

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Comments

This sure is a shapeshifter interview. There are already several dozen YouTubes summarizing and fact-checking it. If any are by main media I am not seeing them yet excepting by Sky News Australia (Sky News did fine in the Perugia case).

Maybe we need to give print media and website media some time to fall in line. Remember that the New York Times and Washington Post readers almost all turned their backs on recent biased op-ed takes, so continued bias is commercially dumb.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/17/22 at 10:45 AM | #

Remarkable jury, very impressive, as so many of them are. Verdicts decided solely on hard facts.

Not character, not hearsay, not experts, not relatives or paid staff. Not social media (which actually followed and processed developments in court and did not determine them.) Just facts and how Depp and Heard each put them across. The myriad recordings of Depp by Heard sure bit her in the tail, and her screechy legal team takes some knocks.

A pity the US now sees so very few jury trials; strong-armed plea-bargains have mostly displaced jury trials. That really hurt Court TV which almost disappeared - this trial and the liking for cameras in court have come as a shot in the arm.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/17/22 at 10:53 AM | #

After the Sun defamation trial the London judge issued a heavy-handed sentencing report he may regret - he is in hurried retirement now.

He was clearly addled by Heard’s claim that she had already donated $7 million to two charities and was riding high on the falsity that she was helping DV victims and terminally ill children, when she was doing nothing of the kind.

From Judgement Final: “02/11/2020” Neutral Citation Number: [2020] EWHC 2911 (QB) Case No: QB-2018-006323 Paragraph 577.

A recurring theme in Mr Depp’s evidence was that Ms Heard had constructed a hoax and that she had done this as an ‘insurance policy’ – presumably in the event that the marriage broke down. Mr Sherborne commented in his closing submissions that Ms Heard had said that she recorded some of her conversations with Mr Depp to show him what he was capable of doing when the Monster prevailed and yet many of these were never played to or shown to Mr Depp. She was, according to this scenario, nothing more than a gold-digger.

I recognise that there were other elements to the divorce settlement as well, but her donation of the $ 7 million to charity is hardly the act one would expect of a gold-digger.

Hello?!!! Never happened.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/17/22 at 10:55 AM | #

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