During a Thursday appearance on the Today show, Elaine Charlson Bredehoft told Savannah Guthrie that her client was "demonized" during the trial and that internet favor was "absolutely" in Depp's corner, which she believes affected the outcome of the case.
And although jurors weren't supposed to scan social media during breaks from the courtroom, Bredehoft said Thursday, "How can you not? They went home every night, they have families, the families are on social media. We had a 10-day break in the middle because of the judicial conference. There's no way they couldn't have been influenced by it."
"And it was horrible — it really, really was lopsided," the attorney continued. "It was like the Roman Colosseum, how they viewed this whole case."
Bredehoft added, "I was against cameras in the courtroom and I went on record with that, and had argued against it because of the sensitive nature of this [case]. But it made it a zoo."
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On Wednesday, the 58-year-old actor won all three defamation claims in the case and was awarded $15 million in damages by a jury. Heard, 36, will only have to pay $10.35 million due to Virginia law capping punitive damages (the judge reduced the amount).
Depp sued Heard for $50 million in damages, claiming she defamed him by writing a 2018 op-ed about coming forward with domestic-abuse accusations, though she did not mention him by name. Meanwhile, the actress filed a countersuit seeking $100 million in damages, claiming Depp spearheaded a campaign to discredit her and her allegations as "fake" and a "hoax," harming her career and reputation.
Depp was found to have defamed her on one of three claims in her countersuit. She was awarded $2 million in damages.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star was found to have defamed Heard on one of three claims in her countersuit. She was awarded $2 million in damages.
In a statement released after the verdict was reached, Depp said he believed the best was yet to come.
"Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also, the lives of the people who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed. All in the blink of an eye," the Pirates of the Caribbean star said. "False, very serious and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me. It had already traveled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career. And six years later, the jury gave me my life back."
STEVE HELBER/POOL/AFP via Getty; EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Johnny Depp; Amber Heard
"I am truly humbled," he continued. "My decision to pursue this case, knowing very well the height of the legal hurdles that I would be facing and the inevitable, worldwide spectacle into my life, was only made after considerable thought. From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me. I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that."
Depp's legal team also addressed the outcome while speaking to the press outside of the Fairfax County Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia.
"Today's verdict confirms what we have said from the beginning, that the claims against Johnny Depp are defamatory and unsupported by any evidence," attorney Camille Vasquez said. "We are grateful to the jury for their careful deliberation, to the judge and the court staff who have devoted an enormous amount of time and resources towards this case."
"Our judicial system is predicated on each person's right to have his or her case heard and we were honored to assist Mr. Depp in ensuring that his case was fairly considered throughout the trial," echoed attorney Benjamin Chew. "We are also most pleased that the trial has resonated for so many people in the public who value truth and justice. Now that the jury has reached its conclusive verdict, it's time to turn the page and look to the future."
The new verdict came 19 months after Depp lost his U.K. libel suit back in November 2020. He sued British tabloid The Sun for calling him a "wife-beater." Heard testified to back up the claims, and a London judge upheld the outlet's claims as being "substantially true." In March 2021, his attempt to overturn that decision was overruled.
"It's a tale of two trials," Bredehoft said Thursday on the Today show. "Johnny Depp brought a suit in the U.K. for the same case, and the burden of proof was easier for him there — The Sun had to actually prove that it was true. And the court found there, and we weren't allowed to tell the jury this, but the court found that Mr. Depp has committed at least 12 acts of domestic violence, including sexual violence, against Amber."
"So what did Depp's team learn from this? Demonize Amber and suppress the evidence," she continued. "We had an enormous amount of evidence that was suppressed in this case that was in the U.K. case. In the U.K. case, when it came in, Amber won; Mr. Depp lost."
Bredehoft insisted "nothing changed" from the time Depp lost the U.K. libel suit until now, noting, "The op-ed didn't even mention Mr. Depp by name."
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"What, basically, they did here is demonize her," she alleged. "They were able to suppress the medical records, which were very significant because they showed a pattern going all the way back to 2012 of Amber reporting this to her therapist, for example. We had a significant amount of texts including from Mr. Depp's assistants, saying, 'When I told him he kicked you, he cried. He is so sorry.' That didn't come in."
Bredehoft also said that "a number of things were allowed in this court that should not have been allowed, and it caused the jury to be confused."
"We weren't allowed to tell them about the U.K. judgement, so the damages [are] completely skewed," the lawyer added. "There are no damages. It stopped at November 2, 2020, when the judgment came down in the U.K."