Johnny Depp Stans Rushed to Fork Over Cash for Unsealed Court Documents: Did It Backfire?

Johnny Depp Stans Rushed to Fork Over Cash for Unsealed Court Documents: Fans of Johnny Depp have been exulting for weeks over the actor’s apparent triumph in his defamation suit against ex-wife Amber Heard, who implied that he had physically abused her in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed. The unsealing of thousands of pages of court documents in the case, however, dimmed their celebration last weekend.

Much of the new evidence painted Heard in a more sympathetic light and Depp in a less favorable one. For instance, the recently made public documents reveal Heard’s alleged refusal to demand her fair portion of Depp’s multi-million dollar assets during their divorce as well as claims that Depp’s attorneys attempted to have Heard’s nude images admitted into evidence.

A Pro-Depp Lawyer Chases the Documents

Andrea Burkhart, a lawyer based in Washington State, contacted the Fairfax County Circuit Court to get copies of the papers last month after Judge Penney Azcarate disclosed hundreds of court documents in the case, according to her tweets. Burkhart, who calls himself a “legal color commentator,” extensively monitored the Depp v. Heard case.

Burkhart claims to have been a practicing lawyer for 15 years in videos. She has been closely watching litigation surrounding Marilyn Manson in addition to the Depp trial and has stated the opinion that both men are the targets of unfounded abuse claims. Burkhart attempts to provide a legal perspective on Depp’s case in her reportage, but she frequently veers into opinion.

Burkhart made it plain right away that she believed Heard had perpetrated an “abuse farce.” Burkhart stated on Twitter that it was “time to stop denying the reality of female violence and deleting male victims of assault” on the opening day of the trial. Depp insisted that Heard was the genuine victim in their relationship and that he never physically mistreated him during the trial.

Burkhart was virtually thrilled on her YouTube channel when she discovered that many of the sealed court documents would be made public following the decision due to the possibility that they would include information damaging to Heard.

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Before having access to the unsealed files two weeks ago, Burkhart remarked in a YouTube video, “If Amber Heard was trying to keep all this information secret behind a seal in the Fairfax County courthouse I think she’s going to find herself out of luck and at the end of the day.”

Depp Fans Raise More Than $7,000 for Unsealed Filings

The released court documents cost money to obtain. Burkhart stated in another tweet that the court’s legal records manager informed him that there were more than 6,600 pages of unsealed files and that getting copies would cost $3,321. She then requested donations from her more than 44,000 followers. Burkhart tweeted that the fundraising target had been met a little under an hour later. Many of the people who answered her call on Twitter have pirate hats on their handles.

Burkhart later tweeted screenshots demonstrating that she had given The Art of Elysium and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles the additional funds totaling over $7,000. The choice of those charities was a dig at Heard since the two groups came under scrutiny during the trial after Depp’s lawyers presented proof that Heard had broken her promises to donate to both of them and the ACLU.

Johnny Depp Stans Rushed to Fork Over Cash for Unsealed Court Documents
Johnny Depp Stans Rushed to Fork Over Cash for Unsealed Court Documents

Burkhart’s donation was confirmed by Leslie Cup, a vice president at The Art of Elysium, in a statement to Insider on Tuesday that also included a sly jab at Heard. “I can confirm that Andrea Burkhart gave us a donation of more than $5,000 rather than a pledge. We are very appreciative “stated Cup. Since Children’s Hospital Los Angeles declined to comment on the contribution, Insider was unable to independently verify it.

Unexpected Result?

Many people perceived the recently released court records as a net victory for Heard after she experienced intense internet criticism throughout the trial — as well as some payback for her critics.

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On July 31, Kat Tenbarge, an NBC News tech and culture correspondent, tweeted, “Johnny Depp defenders crowdsourcing thousands to pay to unseal additional pages and messages that corroborate Amber Heard’s case…. sometimes fate has a sense of humor.” According to two attorneys who were interviewed by Newsweek on Tuesday, the released records did not reflect well on Depp and may have surprised the supporters who worked to get them public.

While Seattle-based attorney Kirk Davis told Newsweek that “if the fans thought unsealing the records was going to greatly help Depp, they were undoubtedly mistaken,” entertainment lawyer Frank Salzano told the publication that he believed the unsealed files “hurt Johnny Depp.”

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