JOHNNY Depp is facing new court claims that he “spearheaded” a professional trolling campaign against ex-wife Amber Heard in a bid to save his career.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star allegedly arranged for Ms Heard to be “drowned with online attacks” during their domestic abuse battle in London’s High Court.
Depp allegedly arranged for ex-partner Amber Heard to be ‘drowned with online attacks’ during their court battle[/caption]
Depp allegedly tried to discredit Heard through an online campaign [/caption]
Papers filed by Ms Heard claim Depp tried to “foment a fantasy of online outrage and hatred” to discredit her and trick movie studios into believing he is still relevant.
The High Court was told last month that Depp, 57, subjected Ms Heard to years of verbal and physical abuse.
Her new claim, made in US legal documents, states Depp and lawyer Adam Waldman tried to “harass and damage” her during the three-week libel trial.
It says: “Mr Depp is attempting to defame Ms Heard and interfere with her reputation, career and livelihood through an online smear campaign he has organised and orchestrated.
Depp gained fame as Captain Jack Sparrow in The Pirates of the Caribbean[/caption]
Depp allegedly directed social media accounts to target Amber Heard[/caption]
“As part of his ongoing smear campaign, Mr Depp has directed both authentic and inauthentic social media accounts and ‘bots’ to target Ms Heard’s Twitter account and attempt to interfere with her contracts and business.”
“Many of these accounts smear and harass Ms Heard while simultaneously promoting and praising Mr Depp’s attorney, Adam Waldman.
“Mr Waldman is publicly associated with Russian individuals with the capability to organise such attacks.”
The new allegations have been made in regard to a libel claim Depp has made against Ms Heard in the US over domestic abuse accusations.
Ms Heard’s new claim states Depp and lawyer Adam Waldman tried to ‘harass and damage’ her during the three-week libel trial[/caption]
Amber Heard alleges Depp abused her during their relationship[/caption]
They are part of a counter-claim filed in Virginia.
Ms Heard’s claim says the troll accounts regularly tweeted messages such as “I love you Waldman!!” — which “further evidences the origin of Mr Depp’s unlawful campaign.”
She alleges Depp verbally abused her during their relationship, calling her a “disgusting pig”, “whore c***” and “inhuman scum-filled sickfish”.
The papers say: “Such vile comments from Mr Depp laid the groundwork for the smear campaign he spearheads today, and reveal Mr Depp’s true personality, filled with anger, hatred and violence.”
Depp’s Hollywood career has been damaged by his legal battles with Ms Heard. He was stripped of his Captain Jack Sparrow Pirates role by Disney and his movie, City of Lies, was put on hold by Miramax.
On Twitter, Mr Waldman described Ms Heard’s trolling claims as a “hoax,” adding: “The people demand facts and evidence, not nonsense.”
But one of Ms Heard’s legal team said the actress was targeted by hundreds of fake Depp fans on Twitter as part of an orchestrated “reputation management” crusade.
She said people and groups linked to Ms Heard, including UN Women and the American Civil Liberties Union, were also attacked.
Ms Heard’s legal team said the actress was targeted by hundreds of fake Depp fans on Twitter[/caption]
She said: “Anyone publicly associated with Amber gets drowned with online attack, much of which is inauthentic.
“Not only have I been unbelievably trolled online, so have people I work with. They have been blanketed with emails claiming Amber is an abuser and questioning why anybody would represent her.
“You could blame it on Depp fans and the life of a celebrity but some of it is being cultivated professionally.
“It’s being used by reputation management companies in a way that’s hard to grapple.”
This photo of Amber Heard with bruising on her face was handed out in court[/caption]
This photo of Johnny Depp was also shown[/caption]
The lawyer said the Aquaman star needed police protection during her three weeks at the High Court. She said: “We were booed, people threw things at the car — but Depp walked in the front door.”
Depp is suing The Sun for describing him as a “wife beater”. The newspaper, backed by Ms Heard, says the term is accurate. The judge’s ruling is imminent.
Media lawyer Mark Stephens said he was targeted by 200 fake Depp fans after describing the case as “foolish.”
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He had the abusive tweets analysed by experts at Oxford University and in Berlin. Both said they were from fake accounts. Mr Stephens said: “I’d never seen it before.
“These were real, live accounts. Although they claimed to be in diverse places like Africa, Turkey, France and the US, they were tweeting with the same hashtags and often the same spelling mistakes.
“It’s something lawyers need to look out for.”
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