Speed Reads

depp v. heard

Depp lawyers deny verdict set back #MeToo movement: 'We encourage any victim to come forward'

Johnny Depp's lawyers are speaking out a week after his defamation victory, denying the verdict will have a chilling effect on the #MeToo movement. 

Attorneys Ben Chew and Camille Vasquez appeared Wednesday on Good Morning America and the Today show after leading Depp to a win in his defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard over an op-ed about domestic abuse. Speaking with GMA, they rejected the idea that the actor's win will prevent other domestic abuse survivors from speaking out. 

"We encourage any victim to come forward," Vasquez said. "Domestic violence doesn't have a gender." 

Heard's lawyer Elaine Charlson Bredehoft previously argued the jury was influenced by social media, which "really, really was lopsided" in favor of Depp. But Depp's attorneys denied this, and Chew told GMA he believes social media played "no role whatsoever" in the outcome. He also told Today it was "disappointing" to hear Bredehoft "impugn the character of the jury," adding there's no reason to believe they "violated their oath" by doing outside research on the case. 

Instead, Chew argued the jury didn't believe Heard's abuse claims because she "didn't take accountability for anything," unlike Depp, who "owned his issues" on the stand, including his drug and alcohol problems. Depp's team also denied suggestions that there was an orchestrated pro-Depp online campaign on his behalf, with Vasquez calling this "categorically false." 

Heard plans to appeal the verdict, but Chew told Today he's confident there were "no errors that would justify any kind of successful appeal."