Amber Heard’s lawyers have said there was no way the jury could have avoided the “one-sided” support for Depp on social media.
Lawyers for Johnny Depp are fighting back against claims that jurors in his successful defamation trial against Amber Heard were influenced by social media. They also rejected claims that the flood of online support for Depp was staged. The trial, held last week in London, was widely seen as a victory for Depp, who was able to portray herself as a victim of domestic violence. However, there were suggestions that jurors may have been influenced by the large amount of positive coverage of Depp on social media. In a statement released after the trial, Depp’s attorneys said, “We are pleased, but not surprised, that the jury unanimously found Mr. Depp not guilty of making false allegations about Ms. Heard.” They added, “The overwhelming evidence in this case shows that Mr. Depp was the victim of severe domestic violence, and we hope this decision will help change the conversation about domestic violence.”
In interviews Wednesday morning on NBC’s Today show and ABC ‘s Good Morning America, Ben Chew and Camille Vasquez said they believed jurors reached their verdicts based on facts alone and not because they were influenced by things they saw on the Internet.
“In my opinion, social media did not play a role,” Chew said. “This was a decision that the jurors made based on the evidence presented by both sides.
Vasquez said that although jurors were not questioned in camera during the weeks-long trial, the judge warned them every day not to engage in coverage of the high-profile case.
“It’s all over the place, but at the same time they were admonished every night,” Vasquez said in Today. “They had great respect for the court and the process and did their best.”
Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, said last week she did not think the jury could have avoided the “one-sided” support for Depp on social media.
“How could they not?” she said on Today. “They went home every night. They have families. The families are on social media.”
“It’s like the Roman Coliseum, the way they see this whole case,” Bredehoft said. “I was against cameras in the courtroom, and I went on record and spoke out against that because it’s a sensitive case, but it turned it into a zoo.”
Vasquez’s name was on everyone’s lips Tuesday on Twitter after her firm announced she had been promoted to partner based on her “performance during the Johnny Depp trial.”
“Congratulations Camille,” numerous tweets read.
Ahead of the pair’s appearances Wednesday morning, Heard’s representatives sent a statement to the press sharply criticising Depp’s lawyers.
“It is as unseemly as it is unprofessional for Johnny Depp’s legal team to take a victory lap for setting back the treatment of women in the courtroom by decades,” said a spokesperson for Amber Heard. “What’s next? A movie deal and merchandising?”