Johnny Depp and hot-shot lawyer Camille Vasquez touch-feely relationship

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The blockbuster defamation trial between feuding exes Johnny Depp and Amber Heard captivated the nation over the course of six weeks


Johnny Depp and Amber Heard finally learned their fate Wednesday following a blockbuster defamation case that saw both parties’ dirty laundry aired, with bombshell testimony detailing abuse, drug use, and violence, over the course of the six-week trial. 

After less than three days of deliberations, jurors in the case found in favor of Depp, awarding him a total of $15million in damages. 

Heard, meanwhile, scored a small victory in her counter-suit, winning $2million in compensatory damages, but $0 in punitive damages.

Despite the jury’s decision, it’s clear that the high-profile trial itself – which captivated viewers and social media users throughout its entirety – will have an undeniable impact on both of the feuding exes’ careers regardless of the verdict.

The dramatic saga began when Depp, 58, filed a $50million defamation claim over a 2018 op-ed Heard wrote for The Washington Post, in which she appeared to allude to him when she described overcoming domestic abuse and violence. 

The Pirates of the Caribbean star claimed his ex-wife defamed him in the op-ed  which led him to lose movie roles and other Hollywood jobs. Heard in turn, countersued for $100million, claiming she was falsely painted as a liar by Depp’s camp. 

But even before jurors sided with Depp, the Hollywood star had already won in the court of public opinion. 

As both parties squared off in court, what resulted was something of a media circus, with Depp’s supporters – and what seemed to be the majority of the general public – siding with the actor and turning against Heard. 

The blockbuster defamation trial between feuding exes Johnny Depp and Amber Heard captivated the nation over the course of six weeks

Amber Heard

Amber Heard

The blockbuster defamation trial between feuding exes Johnny Depp and Amber Heard captivated the nation after it kicked off in April 

Over six weeks at the court in Fairfax, Virginia, Depp called 38 witnesses while Heard called 24. Depp and Heard met on the set of the 2011 movie The Rum Diary, turning up on the red carpet together for its London premiere in 2011

Over six weeks at the court in Fairfax, Virginia, Depp called 38 witnesses while Heard called 24. Depp and Heard met on the set of the 2011 movie The Rum Diary, turning up on the red carpet together for its London premiere in 2011

Over six weeks at the court in Fairfax, Virginia, Depp called 38 witnesses while Heard called 24. Depp and Heard met on the set of the 2011 movie The Rum Diary, turning up on the red carpet together for its London premiere in 2011

The drama and frenzy surrounding in the trial – which was livestreamed to the public – would eventually spill outside of court, with fans launching social media campaigns, creating memes, and even fueling speculation of a courtroom love affair.

The overwhelming support behind Depp also became evident outside the courtroom, where crowds of fans lined up holding placards and cheering for the film star at the start of the trial every day. 

And on Wednesday, as news of the verdict circulated, fans took to social media once more to celebrate and send messages of support to the star. 

The trial has managed to successfully clear Depp’s name in the eyes of the public, but it may not have had the same effect for his career. 

As some witnesses, including former agent Tracey Jacobs, testified in the trial, Depp had reportedly become a difficult client to manage over the years because of his ‘unprofessional behavior’ on set. 

‘Showing up late to set, consistently, on virtually every movie. I would get yelled at. I never said to him you’re a difficult client, but I was very honest with him and said you’ve got to stop doing this, this is hurting you. And it did,’ Jacobs told the court.  

Crisis public relations expert Juda Engelmayer told Insider ahead of the jury’s verdict Wednesday that while the outcome of the trial could potentially revive Depp’s career, it could still have an impact on the types of roles he is offered in the future. 

‘I don’t think it’ll be family-friendly. I think his role will be different,’ he said. 

‘He’ll be cast in independent films or films where he is maybe the bad guy, a criminal, a mobster.’ 

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He added that it’s possible Depp will now land roles as characters ‘who at first is not a likable guy, not a fun guy, but someone who’s the bad guy.’

The public's support for Depp was evident outside the courtroom, where scores of fans lined up every day to cheer for the star ahead of the trial

The public's support for Depp was evident outside the courtroom, where scores of fans lined up every day to cheer for the star ahead of the trial

The public’s support for Depp was evident outside the courtroom, where scores of fans lined up every day to cheer for the star ahead of the trial 

Earlier this week fans were seen holding up banners in support of Depp as jurors deliberated in the case

Earlier this week fans were seen holding up banners in support of Depp as jurors deliberated in the case

Earlier this week fans were seen holding up banners in support of Depp as jurors deliberated in the case 

Crowds lined the sidewalks as they displayed messages of support for the actor

Crowds lined the sidewalks as they displayed messages of support for the actor

Crowds lined the sidewalks as they displayed messages of support for the actor 

As for Heard, however, it is likely she will have a tougher time recovering from the blow to her reputation from the trial, which seems to have had a wider reach beyond her career. 

The impact of the trial was already seen during proceedings, when Depp supporters launched a petition calling for Warner Bros to drop Heard from the role of Queen Mera in upcoming superhero film Aquaman 2, which topped 4.4 million signatures while the jury deliberated. 

The petition alleges that Heard has been ‘exposed as a domestic abuser by Johnny Depp’ during the multimillion-dollar court battle.

‘In his lawsuit, Johnny Depp describes many incidents of domestic abuse that he suffered at the hands of his (then) wife Amber Heard, including one incident where she punched him twice in the face and another where she shattered his finger with a vodka bottle, and his finger had to be surgically reattached,’ the campaign read. 

‘He will bear the scar from that for the rest of his life.’  

In court, the jury also heard testimony from Warner Bros executives who revealed the studio had to ‘fabricate’ chemistry between Heard and the film’s lead star Jason Momoa in postproduction of the first film. 

Walter Hamada, President of DC-Based Film Production, Warner Bros. Pictures, testified that the actress’s role in the second film was not affected in ‘any way’ by anything Johnny Depp said.

He did, however, admit there was a weeks-long delay in confirming that Heard would take part in Aquaman 2 because of ‘conversations about recasting’ her role.

Hamada said that the issues were raised as the filming of the first Aquaman film concluded because of the ‘chemistry’ between Heard and Momoa.

Despite Heard's minor victory in court, it is likely she will have a tougher time recovering from the impact of the trial, which seems to have had a wider reach beyond her career

Despite Heard's minor victory in court, it is likely she will have a tougher time recovering from the impact of the trial, which seems to have had a wider reach beyond her career

Despite Heard’s minor victory in court, it is likely she will have a tougher time recovering from the impact of the trial, which seems to have had a wider reach beyond her career

During the trial, fans launched a petition to have the actress removed from upcoming superhero film Aquaman 2 - which topped 4.4 million signatures, which is just short of the target of 4.5 million signatures, this week

During the trial, fans launched a petition to have the actress removed from upcoming superhero film Aquaman 2 - which topped 4.4 million signatures, which is just short of the target of 4.5 million signatures, this week

During the trial, fans launched a petition to have the actress removed from upcoming superhero film Aquaman 2 – which topped 4.4 million signatures, which is just short of the target of 4.5 million signatures, this week 

Amber Heard as Princess Mera in the first Aquaman film in 2018

Amber Heard as Princess Mera in the first Aquaman film in 2018

Amber Heard as Princess Mera in the first Aquaman film in 2018

Outside the courtroom Heard also faced vitriol from viewers and members of the public who launched campaigns against her after watching her case crumble before her during the trial.

Heard’s credibility suffered a blow and saw viewers turn against her during a dramatic cross-examination during which she finally confirmed she had not donated her $7million divorce settlement to charity in full, as she had been claiming for years. 

She also drew further scrutiny when she alleged her infamous op-ed was not about Depp – a claim she seemed to contradict multiple times throughout her testimony. 

On social media, ‘#JusticeforJohnnyDepp’ became a trending hashtag along with ‘#AmberHeardisapsychopath’.  

Tony Glen Silard, an associate professor at Luiss Business School in Rome commented on the phenomenon earlier this month, telling Forbes: ‘The Depp vs Heard trial is the latest example of how social media has become the new barometer of public opinion that makes or breaks careers.’ 

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The case even saw rumors of a budding romance between Depp and his lawyer circulate after a video of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star helping attorney Camille Vasquez untangle her iPhone charger went viral on TikTok. 

Depp's lead attorneys Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew are seen outside of the courtroom after Depp's victory

Depp's lead attorneys Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew are seen outside of the courtroom after Depp's victory

Depp’s lead attorneys Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew are seen outside of the courtroom after Depp’s victory 

Throngs of reporters and fans are seen crowding around Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew as they speak outside the courthouse after the verdict

Throngs of reporters and fans are seen crowding around Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew as they speak outside the courthouse after the verdict

Throngs of reporters and fans are seen crowding around Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew as they speak outside the courthouse after the verdict  

The ‘intense’ chemistry and and touchy-feely relationship between Depp and Vasquez in the courtroom continued despite social media speculation., adding a frisson of sexual tension to the bitter trial. 

Body language experts even weighed in, saying Depp and 37-year-old Vasquez’s ‘flirtatious’ behavior might have just be a tactic to try and boost the actor’s case. 

But contrary to feverish speculation, Vasquez has been in a serious relationship with a British realtor for several months, according to TMZ.

The California native remained tight-lipped about her private life away from the courtroom, thought, having revealed nothing to the media and with no social media presence to speak of.

As Vasquez was leaving the courthouse earlier this month, a TMZ reporter asked her about the rumored relationship with Depp once and for all.

‘The people want to know, are you dating Johnny Depp? It’s all over the internet. Can you set the record straight, yes or no?’ he said.

However, the California litigator declined to answer. Instead, she just laughed, brushed her hair aside and waved to the throngs of fans gathered outside.

Vasquez and Depp's seemingly close relationship has also sparked feverish speculation online that the two are dating

Vasquez and Depp's seemingly close relationship has also sparked feverish speculation online that the two are dating

Vasquez and Depp’s seemingly close relationship has also sparked feverish speculation online that the two are dating 

The 'intense' chemistry and and touchy-feely relationship between Johnny Depp and Camille Vasquez added a frisson of sexual tension to the bitter trial

The 'intense' chemistry and and touchy-feely relationship between Johnny Depp and Camille Vasquez added a frisson of sexual tension to the bitter trial

The ‘intense’ chemistry and and touchy-feely relationship between Johnny Depp and Camille Vasquez added a frisson of sexual tension to the bitter trial 

Body language experts claimed the pair's' 'flirtatious' behavior might just be a tactic to try and boost the actor's case, but fans speculate a more romantic connection

Body language experts claimed the pair's' 'flirtatious' behavior might just be a tactic to try and boost the actor's case, but fans speculate a more romantic connection

Body language experts claimed the pair’s’ ‘flirtatious’ behavior might just be a tactic to try and boost the actor’s case, but fans speculate a more romantic connection 

Fans started to wonder if romantic feelings had developed between Depp and Vasquez in recent weeks, after they noticed a slew of flirty interactions between the two – including whispering in each other’s ears, giggling together, and sharing coy smirks with one another.

Body language expert Judi James claimed that Depp and his firebrand lawyer Camille Vasquez’s ‘intense’ chemistry in court is all a ploy to ‘destroy’ Heard’s case – comparing their intimate courtroom display to Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet’s characters in The Titanic.

James said that Vasquez’s ‘flirtatious’ behavior is likely a very conscious tactic to try and boost her client’s case, explaining that the romantic gestures between the two are helping Depp to appear more likeable – while comparing their overtly amorous display to the plotline from a Mills & Boon novel.

‘When someone is trying to clear their name in court the behavior of their legal teams and the way they interact with them will send out very strongly influential non-verbal messages to a jury and, in a case this size, the rest of the world,’ James told DailyMail.com.

However, James explained that the amorous moments between them are most likely not due to a secret affair, but instead, are all part of a plan to make Depp seem like a ‘romantic hero.’

She said that linking Depp to a ‘fresh, smart, fragrant, and confident-looking woman’ would ‘destroy’ Heard’s recount of their toxic relationship.

Throughout the case, jurors listened to recordings of the couple’s fights and saw graphic photos of Depp’s bloody finger. He said the top of the finger was severed when Heard threw a vodka bottle at him in 2015.

Depp pats attorney Camille Vasquez on the back in the courtroom on May 17

Depp pats attorney Camille Vasquez on the back in the courtroom on May 17

Depp pats attorney Camille Vasquez on the back in the courtroom on May 17

Heard denied injuring Depp’s finger and said Depp sexually assaulted her that night with a liquor bottle. She said she struck him only to defend herself or her sister.

Depp was also accused of slapping the American actress three times in 2013, after she laughed at his infamous ‘Wino Forever’ tattoo, and attacking her in a cocaine and alcohol-fueled tirade over accusations that she cheated on him with ‘rapist’ James Franco. 

Testimony was livestreamed widely on social media, drawing large audiences to hear details about the couple’s troubled relationship.

Once among Hollywood’s biggest stars, Depp said Heard’s allegations cost him ‘everything.’ A new ‘Pirates’ movie was put on hold and Depp was replaced in the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ film franchise, a ‘Harry Potter’ spinoff.

Depp lost a libel case less than two years ago against the Sun, a British tabloid that labeled him a ‘wife beater.’ A London High Court judge ruled that he had repeatedly assaulted Heard.

He stated in court that Heard was the one who became violent when their relationship soured, claiming that the couple had frequent arguments that included ‘demeaning name calling’ and ‘bullying’ by her, when he took the stand on last month. 

Vasquez also won a massive online following after ‘grilling’ Heard during cross-examination where Vasquez got Heard to admit she didn’t donate her full $7million divorce settlement to charity. 

The fluent Spanish speaker went to Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles from 2007 to 2010. Above, she is pictured left with her mother and sister

The fluent Spanish speaker went to Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles from 2007 to 2010. Above, she is pictured left with her mother and sister

The fluent Spanish speaker went to Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles from 2007 to 2010. Above, she is pictured left with her mother and sister

Camille Vasquez was born in July 1984 to parents Leonel and Marilia Vasquez (above), who are of Colombian descent

Camille Vasquez was born in July 1984 to parents Leonel and Marilia Vasquez (above), who are of Colombian descent

Camille Vasquez was born in July 1984 to parents Leonel and Marilia Vasquez (above), who are of Colombian descent

 

The fluent Spanish speaker went to Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles from 2007 to 2010 and worked at one law firm before joining her current practice, Brown Rudnick LLP, as an associate.

She focuses on ‘plaintiff-side defamation suits, with additional experience litigating contract disputes, business-related torts, and employment-related claims,’ according to her bio on the law firm’s website.

She’s also listed as having ‘extensive experience handling parallel reputation management and crisis communications issues arising from these engagements.’ She does not have any public social media profiles.

One legal expert says that Depp's strong fanbase is simply extending to Vasquez as he's 'winning on social media'

One legal expert says that Depp's strong fanbase is simply extending to Vasquez as he's 'winning on social media'

One legal expert says that Depp’s strong fanbase is simply extending to Vasquez as he’s ‘winning on social media’

Depp has continuously denied Heard’s allegations against him, and was seeking at least $50million in compensatory damages and a punitive award of at least $350,000, along with attorneys’ fees and court costs.

He stated in court that Heard was the one who became violent when their relationship soured, claiming that the couple had frequent arguments that included ‘demeaning name calling’ and ‘bullying’ by her, when he took the stand on last month.

He also stated that Heard threw a bottle of vodka at him during an argument which ensued after he asked her to sign a prenup in 2015, and resulted in his middle finger being cut off.

Attorneys for Heard have argued that she told the truth in her piece, and that her opinion was protected as free speech under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.



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