Data analyst Christopher Bouzy’s work exposing the coordinated hate campaign against Meghan Markle has received the majority of media attention, but a new documentary on Johnny Depp from the award-winning Discovery+ network revealed eye-opening research into similar attacks on Amber Heard.
“Early 2020 we were contacted to look at activity on Twitter and we were able to determine close to 6,000 fake or inauthentic accounts that were targeting Ms. Heard,” says Bouzy. “Definitely a smear campaign, definitely a coordinated influence campaign.”
Rumors of a paid influence campaign using bots and trolls to spread disinformation on Ms. Heard began circulating in late 2019 after hundreds of new social media accounts and websites sprang up almost overnight with seemingly one goal in mind: Praising Johnny Depp and trashing his ex-wife. Included in the daily social media posts and website articles were wildly exaggerated accounts of the couple’s tumultuous marriage, completely fabricated rumors involving Ms. Heard’s status in Aquaman II, FBI and LAPD investigations, and partial evidence leaked by then-Johnny Depp attorney Adam Waldman – which ultimately caused Judge Bruce White to ban him from his courtroom in the upcoming Virginia libel case.
“You really didn’t have to be a pro to see it,” Bouzy remarks. “It wasn’t just some disgruntled fans. It was a targeted operation, one of the most sophisticated we’ve seen.”
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Johnny Depp Warned Ex Amber Heard Is “Begging for Global Humiliation and She’s Going to Get It” in Text
In March of last year, Depp’s text messages were at the center of a UK High Court hearing in his libel case against The Sun newspaper over allegations he was violent and abusive towards his ex-wife. Adam Wolanski QC, representing the newspaper, read out a text message Depp sent to his sister Christi Dembrowski in June 2016 in which he said, “I want her replaced on that WB film (Aquaman).”
“Her sole fault appears to be that she crossed Mr. Depp, one of the most influential and revered people in Hollywood,” Wolanski said.
A second text, sent by Depp to his friend Christian Carino on August 15, 2016, was read out by the barrister. This text was sent the day after Depp and Heard reached a legal agreement ending their marriage.
“She is begging for global humiliation,” Depp’s text said. “She is going to get it. I’m so happy she wants to go to fight this out. She will hit the wall hard. I can only hope that karma takes the gift of breath from her. Sorry man, but now I will stop at nothing.”
Widely Circulated and Scurrilous Accusations
The similarly worded social posts and website articles – blasted out 24-7 – ranged from silly claims Ms. Heard painted on bruises with makeup to now disproven claims Ms. Heard was fired from her role as Queen Mera in the DC Comics Aquaman franchise. Other charges were more sinister in their dishonesty – she was being investigated by the FBI, the LAPD, and being charged with drugging and trying to rape a female model. Along the way, selectively edited tapes and fake court documents were circulated to give false impressions about the ongoing legal proceedings.
Johnny Depp Lost a Case He Was Widely Expected to Win
Depp likely felt his case in the UK was an easy win. For other celebrities in his position, British courts have traditionally been viewed as a safer bet than American ones when it comes to libel cases, due to the different standards of proof. In the United Kingdom, the burden falls on the party accused of libel-so in this case The Sun had to prove that it was telling the truth. In the U.S., the burden falls on the plaintiff to prove that the defendant made a false allegation and that the defendant knew that it was false.
Depp’s loyal fans and his incel cheerleaders were certainly not expecting the verdict of British judge Andrew Nicol in favor of Amber Heard and the Sun.
“Taking all the evidence together, I accept that she was the victim of sustained and multiple assaults by Mr. Depp in Australia,” the judge said. “I accept her evidence of the nature of the assaults [Depp] committed against her. They must have been terrifying.”