Johnny Depp fans ‘damaged’ his reputation by unsealing documents – lawyer

Johnny Depp fans may have inadvertently damaged the actor’s reputation by paying to have pre-trial documents unsealed, a lawyer has claimed.

The actor was enjoying a career boost and a surge in popularity during and after his multimillion-dollar libel lawsuit against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, but now documents have not been released. in court have been posted online containing a plethora of new revelations — and they don’t show Depp in a favorable light, for the most part.

Some of the explosive revelations uncovered in the documents include Depp refusing to wear a mask during Heard’s deposition, Depp’s texts to Marilyn Manson about Heard, and Depp’s attempt to use Heard’s stint as a stripper against her in court.

They also included accusations of photo editing by Depp, as well as claims that he suffered from erectile dysfunction and that it would lead him to become violent.

“I think the unsealed court filings released over the weekend have further damaged Johnny Depp, as it appears that some of the unsealed court filings dealt primarily with irrelevant information about Heard, which juries can sometimes feel as a form of of shame to the victims,” ​​said entertainment attorney Frank Salzano. at New York-based Salzano Lampert & Wilson LLP, said Newsweek.

Johnny Depp fans affect his reputation
Johnny Depp fans crowd the Fairfax County Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia on May 26, 2022 (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images). Depp, seen leaving court the following day, has been embroiled in a legal battle against his ex-wife Amber Heard (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images).
Getty Images

While Seattle-based attorney Kirk Davis added, “If fans thought unsealing the records was going to help Depp in any meaningful way, they were certainly wrong.”

Newsweek has contacted Depp’s representatives for comment.

The files were unsealed and posted online by Andrea Burkhart, a Washington state criminal defense attorney who provides color legal commentary on her YouTube channel.

Burkhart obtained more than 6,600 pages of newly unsealed documents and posted them on his website because “the public has an interest in being able to assess the merits of his [Heard’s] complaints against the justice system.

The Aquaman The actress formally filed a motion last month in Fairfax County, Va., Circuit Court to appeal the decision in the libel lawsuit she lost to her ex-husband.

“Certainly if the system is not fair and not treating a party fairly, then that is something we would want to know,” Burkhart said in a statement shared with Newsweek.

The cost to open records held by the Virginia circuit court is $0.50 per page, Burkhart confirmed, and she tweeted in July to say she would pay $3,300 for the Depp-Heard and that those interested could contribute to the cost.

“The enthusiasm for accessing the copies of the documents was swift and overwhelming, and sufficient funds were raised within hours; excess funds totaling $7,000 were donated to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Art of Elysium , two charities that have been affected by the lawsuit, would like to thank the hundreds of generous people who donated,” she said in her statement.

Burkhart’s tweet was filled with comments from many people publicly supporting Depp to say they had contributed.

Newsweek contacted Burkhart for further comment.

The unsealed documents sparked a lot of interest online and also revealed further details about Depp’s severed finger and the couple’s divorce settlement,

They also suggested that Depp said his ex-wife never hurt him, which appears to go against what was suggested during the couple’s defamation trial in Fairfax County, Virginia. .

Twitter user @cocainecross created a viral thread that exposed a number of facts that seemed damning to Depp and his legal team.

Despite the enthusiasm of Depp fans over the unsealing of the documents, a number of lawyers have said Newsweek that it harmed him and benefited Heard.

“Obviously Amber Heard benefited more from the unsealing of court documents from her lawsuit with Johnny Depp, as she lost the case and is now appealing both in court and in the court of opinion. public,” said Andrew M. Lieb, attorney at Lieb at Law, Told Newsweek.

“The irony is that Depp fans apparently paid to collect these unsealed documents for the purpose of shaming Heard. However, their strategic calculation was flawed in that they failed to realize Ms Heard had already hit her lowest since her tryout loss and she had nothing left to lose at this point.”

Carole Lieberman, forensic psychiatrist and expert witness, believes that “people attack these unsealed court documents like a pack of hungry hyenas, looking for shreds of meat to cast a negative light on Johnny or Amber, depending on who they are. like the least”.

She said Newsweek: “The unsealed documents tarnish Johnny more than Amber because Johnny came out a hero during the trial, and these documents make us wonder if he is as pure as we want to believe.”

Lieberman said Depp fans “got more than they bargained for” by paying to unseal the documents and would “no doubt pay to have them resealed if they could to try and make them go away.”

Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard documents unsealed
Johnny Depp is pictured in principal in Fairfax, Virginia on April 25, 2022. Amber Heard is pictured inset in Fairfax, Virginia on May 26, 2022. Thousands of pages of documents from the former couple’s recent defamation lawsuit have been unsealed.

She added: “It’s not that the documents reveal shocking information about Johnny, it’s that we want to maintain the perfect image of him as an underdog who won against the Big Bad Witch.”

Following a televised trial in Virginia that concluded in late May, the jury ruled largely in favor of Depp on June 1, awarding him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in dollars in punitive damages, while Heard, who countersued for $100 million for nuisance, was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages by the jury. The punitive damages against Heard were later reduced from $5 million to $350,000 under a Virginia law that caps such damages.

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