Study Finds Johnny Depp Fans Perpetrated One of the ‘Worst Cases of Cyberbullying’ Ever

in Entertainment, Movies & TV

amber heard (left) johnny depp (right)

The defamation trial between Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) star Johnny Depp and his ex-wife, Aquaman (2018) star Amber Heard, lasted seven long weeks in a Fairfax County, Virginia courtroom.

amber heard (left) and johnny depp (right) in formalwear on bighorn red carpet
Credit: ABC

Ultimately, the Court found Heard defamed Depp by publicly accusing him of domestic abuse. The jury found that Depp proved Heard lied about her allegations and awarded him $15 million.

Related: Woman Breaks Into ‘Pirates’ Actor Johnny Depp’s Los Angeles Home

In Heard’s countersuit against Depp, the jury found that Depp’s former attorney, Adam Waldman, publicly defamed her. The jury ordered Depp to pay his ex-wife $2 million in compensatory damages.

johnny depp courtroom
Credit: Screenshot via Law & Crime

The Edward Scissorhands (1990) star sued Heard for $50 million for defamation after she wrote an Op-Ed for The Washington Post in which she described herself as a victim of domestic abuse. Heard countersued for $100 million, arguing that he “defamed her when his former lawyer released statements saying her allegations of abuse were a hoax.” 

Related: Elon Musk Reportedly May Help Amber Heard Appeal Verdict vs. Johnny Depp

Pirates of the Caribbean fans have been vocal about their support for Mr. Depp during the defamation trial against Ms. Heard. On the other hand, Heard testified to receiving death threats from Depp supporters. She told the jury she was “harassed, humiliated, threatened every single day.” She testified that people “want to put [her] baby in the microwave.”

amber heard as mera (left) gazing at jason momoa as arthur curry (right) in aquaman
Credit: Warner Bros.

According to a new study from Bot Sentinel, an organization that works to detect misinformation and harassment on social media, Depp fans perpetrated some of the worst harassment and Twitter cyberbullying the organization has ever seen.

Related: Camille Vasquez Finally Addresses Johnny Depp Dating Rumors

The group found that 3,288 accounts were Tweeting statements like #AmberHeardIsAnAbuser, #AmberHeardLsAnAbuser, #AmberHeardIsALiar, and #AmberHeardLsALiar. 19% of those accounts existed solely to Tweet about the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial.

johnny depp (left) and amber heard (right) walking through airport with fans behind them
Credit: ABC News

Depp trolls, as Bot Sentinel calls them, didn’t just go after Heard. The report states, “Women who tweeted in support of Amber Heard were subjected to rampant abuse and targeted harassment on Twitter.”

Related: Jason Momoa “Fought to Keep” Amber Heard, Fueling Rumors She Caused His Divorce With Lisa Bonet

In one horrific instance, Bot Sentinel says, “Someone used a photo of a woman’s deceased child to create a fake account and troll the woman because she tweeted in support of Amber Heard.”

amber heard (left) and johnny depp (right) on red carpet
Credit: ABC

According to the study, “toxic trolls” continued to harass women who voiced support for Heard weeks after the trial ended.

Related: Amber Heard Claims She Wasn’t Replaced in ‘Aquaman 2’ Following Depp Trial

It’s important to note that while Ms. Heard’s legal team hired Bot Sentinel in 2020 to study social media activity against the Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023) star, this 2022 report is independent:

“Neither Amber Heard nor anyone from her team hired Bot Sentinel to review the activity. No one hired Bot Sentinel to compile and publish this report.”

You can read the full report from Bot Sentinel here. 

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