New documents spark a new online battle between fans of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp

A hashtag in defense of Amber Heard trended on Twitter Monday after what appeared to be unsealed court documents in the defamation case brought by Johnny Depp were released by a YouTuber known for her legal commentary.

The hashtag “#AmberHeardDeservesAnApology” first appeared the weekend after The daily beast published some of the findings from the court filings. Heard’s team said her ex-husband Depp tried to provide nude photos of Heard as evidence, according to The Daily Beast. Her attorneys also suggested that Depp altered or edited audio recordings of the fighting couple, the publication reported.

Depp and Heard’s attorneys declined to comment. NBC News has not independently verified the documents, but alleged copies have been seen circulating online, including pages posted by YouTuber Andrea Burkhart on her website. Burkhart, a Washington-based attorney, has amassed 50,000 followers on YouTube, where she posts legal commentary on various celebrity lawsuits that have garnered public attention over the past year. She did not respond to a request for comment.

The online support, spawned by some of her fans, marks a shifting attitude towards Heard, which became the center of backlash from Depp fans during the six-week trial in Fairfax County, Virginia, while the proceedings were televised across the country .

Ever since Heard made allegations against Depp, social media users have fiercely defended Depp. Hashtags like “#JusticeForJohnnyDepp” garnered billions of views on platforms like TikTok during the trial.

The discourse surrounding the trial has remained a common conversation on social media platforms. Some dedicated users have continued to berate Heard while praising Depp. Supporters of Depp and the creators who covered the trial, some of whom have monetized their coverage, have also been working for weeks to uncover new details about the case, which closed on June 1.


Depp had sued Heard over her 2018 comment in The Washington Post, in which she said she had become a “public figure representing domestic violence.” Although the essay never mentioned Depp by name, his attorneys said he was indirectly referring to allegations she made against him during their 2016 divorce. A jury awarded him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages in his defamation lawsuit. Heard, who countered Depp, was also awarded $2 million in damages. Punitive damages are limited to $350,000 in Fairfax County.

During the trial, Ron Schnell, the director of the Berkeley Research Group, an international consulting firm, testified about the hashtags he studied from April 2020 to January 2022. He said he observed more than 2 million negative tweets related to Heard.

Hashtags included “JusticeForJohnnyDepp”, “AmberHeardIsAnAbuser”, “WeJustDontLikeYouAmber” and “AmberTurd”.

Hashtags continued to explode in popularity outside of the parameters Schnell examined, including the “JusticeForJohnnyDepp” tag, which eclipsed the 2 million tags Schnell monitored.

The defamation of Heard on social media became so severe that some domestic violence survivors and supporters of Heard said they were afraid to speak out.

Over the past few weeks, Burkhart, the YouTuber, has been accepting donations from viewers of her channel to pay over $3,300 to download the new court documents, which were unsealed on July 13.

After posting the documents, which total more than 6,000 pages, on their website, Burkhart and her supporters ignited closer scrutiny of Depp by people on the internet.

Some of Heard’s defense attorneys noted that Depp lost a defamation case in the UK two years ago over allegations that he punched Heard. Depp had sued the company that owns The Sun and the newspaper’s editor-in-chief for calling him a “wife beater” in 2018. A judge ruled against Depp in 2020, saying the tabloid presented substantial evidence that he acted violently against Heard on at least 12 out of 14 occasions.

“#AmberHeardDeservesAnApology for those rallying around their abuser, who was declared a woman-beater by a UK court back in 2020.” wrote one Twitter user.

Another person tweeted: “#AmberHeardDeservesAnApology from around the world who mocked, mocked and mocked her for entertainment purposes. Apologize to Amber Heard. Start believing the victims when they speak up. They are not lying, they are not conspiring, they are not insane, they are survivors.”

“All social media and most mainstream media owe Amber a huge apology. Are alone. No ‘but’, no ‘we didn’t know’, no REAL apology,” another user Posted.

Heard’s legal team has appealed the verdict Last month. Depp appealed Heard the next day.

Diana Dasrat contributed. New documents spark a new online battle between fans of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp

Fry Electronics Team

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