Speed Reads

depp v. heard

Amber Heard lawyer says jury was influenced by 'horrible' social media: 'Like the Roman Colosseum'

Amber Heard plans to appeal after a jury found she defamed her ex-husband Johnny Depp in a 2018 op-ed about domestic abuse, according to her lawyer.

Heard attorney Elaine Charlson Bredehoft spoke with the Today show after Depp on Wednesday won his defamation lawsuit against the Aquaman star. She won one count of her countersuit, but experts were largely surprised by the verdict, which indicated the jury didn't believe any of Heard's abuse allegations. 

The trial drew widespread attention on social media, which seemed to be heavily in Depp's favor, and Bredehoft told Today she believes the jurors, who were not sequestered during the trial, were influenced by this. "There's no way they couldn't have been influenced by it, and it was horrible," Bredehoft said. "It really, really was lopsided. It's like the Roman Colosseum." 

Bredehoft decried the fact that cameras were allowed in the courtroom, arguing this turned the trial into a "zoo." The defense, she also noted, wanted to tell jurors that a U.K. judge previously found it was "substantially true" that Depp is a wife beater but was not permitted to introduce this. 

Depp was awarded $10 million in damages, but Bredehoft told Today that Heard, who will receive $2 million in damages for her counterclaim, can't pay this. Heard said she was "heartbroken" by the verdict, which "is a setback" for women, while Depp thanked the jury for giving "me my life back."