Johnny Depp’s lawyers say social media “played no role” in influencing Amber Heard verdict

“This was a decision made by the jury on the evidence presented by both sides"

Johnny Depp’s lawyers have claimed that social media “played no role whatsoever” in the jury’s decision to find Amber Heard guilty of defamation.

Ben Chew and Camille Vasquez appeared on both Good Morning America and The Today Show on Wednesday (June 8) to discuss the highly-publicised trial, which saw Depp awarded $10million (£8million) in compensatory damages.

“Social media played no role whatsoever [in the jury’s verdict],” Chew told Good Morning America presenter George Stephanopoulos [via Vanity Fair]. “This was a decision made by the jury on the evidence presented by both sides, and as Camille said [earlier in the interview], it was overwhelmingly in Mr. Depp’s favour.”

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The trial was a major subject of discussion on social media throughout its six-week duration, but Chew sees “[no] reason to believe that the jurors violated their oath”. He also said he was disappointed to hear that Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft had claimed otherwise.

Vasquez added that the jury was “admonished every single night,” and that “they had a tremendous amount of respect for the court and the process, and they were doing they best that they could.”

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp CREDIT: Cliff Owen/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images

When asked how they thought the case would influence the #MeToo movement, Vasquez expressed her belief that it wouldn’t have a negative impact, adding: “We encourage any victim to come forward… We believe that the verdict speaks for itself, the facts are what they were, the jury made a unanimous decision based on those facts.”

Johnny Depp filed the $50 million (£40 million) lawsuit against his ex-wife over a 2018 op-ed article in The Washington Post, in which she claimed to be a survivor of domestic abuse.

On June 1, the jury ruled in favour of Depp and awarded him a total of $15 million (£12 million) in damages. Heard now plans to appeal against the verdict.

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Since winning the trial, Depp has joined TikTok and sent a message of thanks to his fans.

In the post, also shared on his Instagram, he wrote: “We’ve been everywhere together, we have seen everything together. We have walked the same road together. We did the right thing together, all because you cared. And now, we will all move forward together.

“You are, as always, my employers and once again I am whittled down to no way to say thank you, other than just by saying thank you. So, thank you. My love & respect, JD.”

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