Depp’s lawyers say he ‘owned his issues’ and Amber Heard ‘didn’t take accountability’
Attorney Camille Vasquez says she has been overwhelmed by all the attention during and after the Johnny Depp defamation trial. She is also a newly minted partner at her law firm.
“It’s been surreal and if I’m being honest, a bit overwhelming,” Vasquez said Wednesday morning on “Good Morning America,” where she and legal teammate Benjamin Chew were speaking about their victory in Depp’s high-profile defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard. “But if I can be an inspiration to young women that want to go to law school and study and work hard, then it was worth it.”
She echoed the sentiment on the “Today” show — where Heard attorney Elaine Bredehoft appeared last week — saying Wednesday, “It’s been overwhelming and surreal, but to the extent that I encouraged young women to stay in school and maybe inspired them to pursue a legal career, it’s all worth it.”
Last week, a Virginia jury found in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star’s favor on all counts in his defamation case against Heard, while finding for Heard on only one count of her countersuit against Depp. Depp was awarded $10.3 million, while Heard was awarded $2 million.
Amber Heard’s attorney said she has ‘excellent grounds’ for an appeal after a Virginia jury found for Johnny Depp in their defamation trial.
In the midst of it all, Vasquez became a star among Depp supporters on social media. Certain media outlets began writing about her and her boyfriend as if they were a celebrity couple.
The New York Post this week reported that a number of law firms were allegedly engaging in a bidding war for Vasquez. One unnamed source said talent agents were circling as well because “she is the unicorn — a smart, savvy, poised attorney whose impactful performance during the trial propelled her to a rare level of visibility. And the fact that she is a woman of color is an added bonus.”
Separate from Vasquez’s newfound high profile, the two attorneys were quizzed Wednesday about theories that the Depp camp had orchestrated an anti-Heard social media campaign and that the jury was influenced by it. She called the idea “categorically false,” while Chew dubbed it “absolutely absurd and baseless.”
“I don’t think there is any reason to believe that the jurors violated their oath,” Chew said on “Today.”
Rather, Chew told “GMA,” “My sense is that [the verdict] had a lot of do with accountability — that Johnny owned his issues.
The dueling defamation cases between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard came to a simple end: She defamed him, but she won $2 million in her countersuit.
“He was very candid about his alcohol and drug issues. He was candid about some unfortunate texts that he wrote,” he continued. “And I think it was a sharp contrast to Ms. Heard, who didn’t seem — or at least the jury may have perceived — that she didn’t take accountability for anything.”
Vasquez told “GMA” that Depp was able to connect with the jury. She noted that during her cross-examination of Heard she focused on “using her words against her.”
“It was very important for us [that] every question that was asked was tied to something she had said previously,” she said. “And I think that the jury got to see and the world got to see and hear from Ms. Heard in that relationship on every single topic.”
A spokesman for Heard wasn’t happy about Vasquez and Chew doing the morning-show rounds, saying in a statement released Tuesday afternoon, “It is as unseemly as it is unprofessional that Johnny Depp’s legal team has chosen to do a victory lap for setting back decades of how women can be treated in the courtroom. What’s next? A movie deal and merchandising?”
Heard attorney Bredehoft appeared on the “Today” show last week, the day after the verdict was announced.
Many deemed the verdict in the dueling defamation cases — in which Depp was the winner — a step back for the #MeToo movement and said it highlights a distrust and dislike of Heard.
“One of the first things [Heard] said is, ‘I am so sorry to all those women out there,’” Bredehoft said on the show. “This is a setback for all women in and outside the courtroom. And ... [Heard] feels the burden of that.”
Vasquez said Wednesday on “Today” that she didn’t believe the case had any larger message to send regarding the #MeToo movement or anything else.
“We’re here to talk about the case we tried,” she said. “We urge all victims to come forward and have their day in court.”
Heard’s team says they plan to appeal the verdict.
Three old-school institutions helped make the internet firestorm around the Depp-Heard trial
The American Civil Liberties Union, the Washington Post, Hollywood PR teams and the court system all played a part in making the defamation trial between actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard a feast for social media.
Meanwhile, the Brown Rudnick law firm announced Tuesday that Vasquez, 37, was “elevated to partner” specifically due to the Depp case. She works out of the firm’s Orange County office, while Chew works out of its Washington, D.C., branch.
“Historically, we have reserved this announcement for the end of our fiscal year. But Camille’s performance during the Johnny Depp trial proved to the world that she was ready to take this next step now,” William Baldiga, chairman and chief executive of Brown Rudnick, said in a release. “We are incredibly proud of her and look forward to what she will accomplish as our newest partner.”
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