The bombshell multimillion-dollar defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has rocked the world, thanks to the juicy and at times uncomfortable details of the toxic relationship between the former couple. With videos and memes of the televised trial going viral on a daily basis, millions of people are now wondering who Johnny Depp’s brilliant legal team are.
Johnny, who sued his ex-wife for $50 million in damages, was represented by Brown Rudnick in the case. With the trial being broadcast live on various YouTube channels, it’s little wonder that so many avid viewers were left intrigued by Camille Vasquez, Johnny’s quick-witted lawyer.
From lawyer to internet idol and – according to fans – a possible new love interest for the tormented actor, Camille’s life has seen a drastic change since the defamation trial began in April. We recently discovered that before becoming a full-time lawyer, the outstanding attorney graduated from the University of Southern California in 2006, and also studied at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles.
Working as a litigation associate for Brown Rudnick’s Litigation & Arbitration Practice Group, was just one of many company members appointed to Johnny’s ample legal team. According to the firm’s website, Camille is “adept at formulating offensive and defensive litigation strategies for private clients” ; she was actually named “One to Watch” by “Best Lawyer” in 2021. However, she first caught the media’s attention after cross-questioning Amber on the stand, and catching her out in many perceived lies.
Having been dubbed the “unrivaled star” of the trial by top attorneys and a “queen” by besotted Johnny fans, it’s interesting to note that most of Camille’s objections were sustained by Judge Penney Azcarate during the trial, which wasn’t the case for Amber’s legal team. The stunning brunette’s clever tactics were celebrated online, and TikTok videos with #CamillaVasquez have racked up over half a billion views until now – which, in the age of social media influencing public opinion, makes all the difference.
Although the close hugs and smiles Camille and Johnny shared in the courtroom spurred relationship rumors and outlandish theories from entertained netizens, a source close to the lawyer denied any potential romantic connection between them when talking to Us Weekly. “Camille has a boyfriend… It’s complete fiction,” they stated.
Not much else is known about the beautiful attorney, who is 37 years old as of June 2022 and said to be of Latino heritage, as this has been her most high-profile case to date. According to reputable sources, Camille is said to be worth seven figures, and will have earned roughly $140,000 from the trial.
Depp vs. Heard
The defamation trial of the decade officially came to an end after almost two months, when a seven-person jury unanimously ruled in favor of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star. Despite the turbulent marriage between the two celebs lasting mere months, their relationship actually began in 2012, three years after they met on the set of “The Rum Diaries”.
The couple dominated headlines with their split in 2016, and once again when Amber wrote an op-e for The Washington Post in 2018, in which she described herself as a survivor of domestic violence, which is when Johnny sued for an astronomical $50 million in damages. The jury found that the disgraced “Aquaman” starlet was unable to substantiate her claims against Johnny, and that she knew said claims were false when she published her essay, thus determining that she wrote her op-ed with malicious intent, resulting in Johnny being awarded a combined $15 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
Amber wasted no time in countersuing for $100 million, saying she was only ever violent with Johnny as an act of self-defense, or when defending her younger sister. The actress’s countersuit was based on three statements Johnny’s former attorney, Adam Waldman, gave to the Daily Mail in 2020, which included him calling Amber’s abuse allegations a “hoax”.
🚨🚨| BREAKING: JOHNNY DEPP HAS WON THE DEPP VS HEARD DEFAMATION TRAIL. pic.twitter.com/oczKqh6S9B
— Pubity (@PubityIG) June 1, 2022
After much deliberation, the jury found that Johnny defamed Amber on one count through Adam, and awarded the controversial blonde $2 million in compensatory damages.
In the same year Johnny and Amber that began dating, the Hollywood heartthrob ended his 14-year relationship with Vanessa Paradis, the mother of his children Jack and Lily-Rose. Amber was spotted wearing an engagement ring in 2014, fueling speculations of imminent nuptials for the formerly happy couple. The engagement was later confirmed by various news outlets.
Amber and Johnny’s marriage got off to a rocky start, when they tied the knot in a private ceremony in Australia, and snuck their two dogs, Pistol and Boo, into the country. Despite releasing a contrite apology video, Amber was charged with two counts of illegally importing the dogs into the country and one count of producing a false document.
Amber filed for divorce in May 2016, and was granted a temporary restraining order against Johnny amongst claims that the actor had thrown a ‘phone at her. In a sworn declaration, Amber said that Johnny had been verbally and physically abusive during the entirety of their relationship, adding: “He has a short fuse. He is often paranoid and his temper is exceptionally scary for me.”
Although a judge rejected Amber’s request that Johnny attend anger management classes for a year, and also refused to extend the protective order to the couple’s dogs, the damage had been done, as Johnny’s reputation took a serious hit, despite the police not pressing charges against him. Later, the former lovebirds released a joint statement to announce that they’d settled their divorce.
The statement described their relationship as “intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love,” and added that Amber would donate proceeds from the settlement to charity. The divorce was finalized in 2017, but the following year things took an unexpected turn, when Amber wrote the infamous op-ed for The Washington Post.
Amber’s article mentioned her experience with abuse throughout her life, but didn’t mention Johnny by name. She also suggested that Congress reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women act. When suing Amber for defamation in 2019, Johnny claimed that the op-ed was a way for Amber to attract positive press, and denied her being a victim of domestic violence.
For better or for worse, very personal details of Johnny and Amber’s relationship and break-up became public domain during the trial.
On April 19, Johnny took the stand to explain why he was pursuing the defamation case, saying: “I felt it my responsibility to stand up not only for myself… but for my children, who at the time were 14 and 16.” The actor also denied ever striking Amber or any woman in his life, adding: “It’s been six years of trying times.”
Repost @LawCrimeNetwork: "Actor Johnny Depp reflected on the last six years, saying they have been trying times. “One day you’re Cinderella, so to speak, and then in 0.6 seconds, you’re Quasimodo,” he said."
Posted by Johnny Depp Love on Tuesday, April 19, 2022
Things became interesting when David Kipper, Johnny’s longtime doctor, participated in a deposition that was played in court in the same week. In the deposition, which was recorded two months prior, David recalled treating the A-lister after his fingertip was severed in March 2015.
David said that he didn’t know the cause of Johnny’s injury. Johnny himself previously claimed that Amber had thrown a glass vodka bottle at him, which hit the countertop where he was resting his hand. According to the actor, he had to have three surgeries to reconstruct his finger. When asked, David said that Johnny claimed to have cut his own finger with a knife.
Laurel Avis Anderson, a therapist who worked with both parties, testified at the beginning of the trial that the couple engaged in “mutual abuse”. The therapist saw the couple several times between October and December 2015, and testified that Johnny denied being violent, but added that the pair had terrible communication skills.
— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) May 27, 2022
Ben Rottenborn, Amber’s attorney, claimed that his client had suffered sexual violence at Johnny’s hands, as well as domestic abuse that “took many forms”. One of Johnny’s spokespeople denied the allegations, which included a grisly recounting of the thespian allegedly penetrating the actress with a wine bottle in a scene reminiscent of “Gone Girl”.
Johnny received his fair share of criticism, when crude texts between himself and his neighbor Isaac Baruch were read in court, including: “I hope that Amber’s rotten corpse is decomposing in a f**king trunk of a honda civic”. However, the vitriol soon turned to the actress, when Johnny claimed that she’d stubbed-out a lit cigarette on his cheek and hand.
From being forced to detox under Amber’s watch, and begging her for medication, to turning to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain of constant verbal spats, Johnny quickly won the public’s sympathy, thanks to his testimonies and quotes such as “there were times when I would just go and lock myself in the bathroom or anywhere that she couldn’t get into.” He also spoke about the abusive relationship between his own parents, and how it affected his childhood.
More ugly details came out during the cross-examinations, including Johnny’ suspicion of an affair between Amber and her former co-star James Franco, and Amber’s alleged MDMA binge on their wedding day. The relationship between Amber and Tesla billionaire Elon Musk – who was paying the actress’s legal fees – was also discussed at length by witnesses, including Lady Gaga’s ex-fiancé. Eagle-eyed netizens also noticed that Elon was photographed with bruises while dating Amber and wondered if the eccentric entrepreneur had been a victim of domestic abuse at her hands.
As more and more witnesses such as Kate Moss came out in Johnny’s defense, and ghastly tales of Amber defecating in the couple’s bed towards the end of the relationship turned into viral TikTok moments, it was almost a given that the “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” star would win. Nevertheless, news of the actor’s triumph spread like wildfire across the internet, and was celebrated by millions of fans.
— DailyNewsOfTheTimes (@DNewsOfTheTimes) June 20, 2022
After her loss in the trial, Amber and her team released a heartfelt statement, saying: “I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence and sway of my ex-husband.”
Despite losing the civil court case, Amber has the option of lodging an appeal against the decision, with the requirement of new evidence coming to light. Her $100 million countersue is still open, and in the future, a court will decide whether Johnny defamed her and has to pay up or not.
As for Johnny, the victorious celebrity also released a much happier statement via social media, in which he thanked the jury for giving him his life back. With over 16 million likes on Instagram, it’s safe to say that the controversial star is back in the public’s good graces for the time being, and could possibly rekindle his acting career in the near future.
With think pieces from hundreds of online publications, some also question what Amber’s loss means for women in general. With the verdict being dubbed “a setback for women”, and Amber’s own attorney claiming that the social media frenzy influenced the jury, some media columnists are claiming that the trial represented “the death of #MeToo”.
Nicole Bedera, a respected sociologist specializing in sexual violence, said of the case: “Historically, survivors have always been concerned about naming their abusers publicly, but those concerns are intensified after this verdict,”, adding that Amber never publicly named Johnny as her abuser.
The #MeToo organization which enjoyed its heyday in 2017, also released a scathing statement on its website in an attempt to distance itself from the trial and verdict. “The way in which #MeToo has been manipulated during the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard trial is a toxic catastrophe, and one of the biggest defamations of the movement we have ever seen,” the statement read, adding that Johnny and Amber’s case was one of intimate partner violence between “two privileged white celebrities” and not one centered on sexual violence, the premise on which the organization was built.
Domestic violence victims are also in two minds, with some on Amber’s side and others claiming that she was lying and doing real victims a disservice.
Regretfully, some headlines seem to contend that Amber should have ‘won’ because she’s a woman, others that Johnny ‘won’ because he’s a popular actor. It’s worth noting that the jury was unanimous in their verdict, and that they were probably the only ‘witnesses’ to the whole trial, and under the direction of the presiding judge.