After what seemed to be unsealed court records in the defamation action brought by Johnny Depp were made public by a YouTuber known for her legal commentary, a hashtag protecting Amber Heard started trending on Twitter on Monday.
After The Daily Beast published some of the findings from the court documents over the weekend, the hashtag #AmberHeardDeservesAnApology first started to circulate. According to The Daily Beast, Heard’s team claimed that Depp, her ex-husband, attempted to add nude images of Heard into the evidence. Additionally, according to the publication, her attorneys alleged that Depp changed or edited audio recordings of the couple arguing.
Depp and Heard’s legal counsel declined to comment. Although the documents have not been independently vetted by NBC News, it has seen allegedly authentic copies circulating online, including pages that YouTuber Andrea Burkhart has placed on her website. Burkhart, a lawyer from Washington, has 50,000 subscribers on YouTube, where she shares legal analysis of numerous celebrity trials that have garnered attention from the general public in the previous year. When contacted for comment, she remained silent.
The online support for Heard, which was started by some of her supporters, signifies a change in public opinion. During the six-week trial in Fairfax County, Virginia, Heard attracted criticism from Depp supporters as the proceedings were televised across the nation.
Social media users have vehemently defended Depp ever since Heard first made the accusations against him. During the trial, hashtags like #JusticeForJohnnyDepp received billions of views on websites like TikTok.
The trial’s discussion has persisted as a frequent topic of discussion on social media. Some devoted users have persisted in criticizing Heard while praising Depp. Depp’s supporters and the journalists who covered the trial, some of whom made money from their reporting, have been searching for new information about the case since it ended on June 1 for weeks.
Heard said in a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post that Depp had sued her because she had become a public symbol of domestic abuse. Despite the fact that Depp was never specifically referenced in the article, according to his lawyers, it made reference to accusations she leveled against him during their 2016 divorce. In his defamation case, a jury decided to give him $5 million in punitive damages in addition to $10 million in compensatory damages. Heard, who filed a counterclaim against Depp, was also given a $2 million compensatory damages verdict. In Fairfax County, there is a $350,000 cap on punitive damages.
Ron Schnell, the head of the global consulting company Berkeley Research Group, testified in court regarding the hashtags he looked at between April 2020 and January 2022. He claimed to have seen more than 2 million derogatory tweets about Heard.
JusticeForJohnnyDepp, AmberHeardIsAnAbuser, WeJustDon’tLikeYouAmber, and AmberTurd were among the hashtags.
Outside of the restrictions Schnell looked at, hashtags continued to soar in popularity, with the JusticeForJohnnyDepp tag surpassing the 2 million tags Schnell had looked at.
Some domestic violence survivors and Heard allies claimed they were afraid to speak out because of the extreme online defamation of Heard.
The YouTuber Burkhart recently sought donations from her subscribers to pay more than $3,300 to download the fresh court records, which were unsealed on July 13.
Burkhart and her supporters increased online skepticism of Depp after posting the documents, which total more than 6,000 pages, on her website.
Some of Heard’s supporters cited the fact that Depp lost a libel action in the UK two years ago due to claims that he struck Heard. Depp filed a lawsuit against The Sun’s parent company and its chief editor in 2018 after they referred to him as a “wife beater.” In 2020, a court rejected Depp’s appeal, stating that the tabloid had provided compelling proof that he had acted violently toward Heard on at least 12 of the 14 times.
Amber Heard deserves an apology for everyone supporting a Twitter user wrote, who was already labeled a wife-beater by a UK court back in 2020, Amber Heard’s abuser.
Another tweeted: #AmberHeardDeservesAnApology from everyone who insulted, ridiculed, and derided her for amusement. Make amends to Amber Heard. Start taking victims at their word. They are survivors; they are not making things up, plotting anything, or being insane.
The majority of the mainstream media, as well as all of social media, owe Amber a sincere apology. a true one. No ifs, no buts, no we didn’t know, no genuine regrets, user posted.