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Heard-Depp trial sees meteoric 3.24m mentions online, Heard fires crisis comms team days prior

Heard-Depp trial sees meteoric 3.24m mentions online, Heard fires crisis comms team days prior

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The trial between actor Johnny Depp and his former spouse actress Amber Heard has came to a close after six weeks, with Depp winning over US$10 million in the defamation suit against Heard. Jurors awarded Depp US$15 million in damages from Heard, which the judge reduced to US$10.35 million to comply with state limits on punitive damages. The panel also ordered Depp to pay Heard US$2 million in damages. 

Depp sued Heard for defamation when she called herself a public figure representing domestic abuse in a newspaper opinion piece. Heard then countersued for US$100 million when Depp's lawyer called her accusations a hoax. Since 4 May, the trial has seen 3.24 million mentions online, with an average of 108,000 mentions per day, according to media monitoring company Meltwater.

Online chatter on the trial has peaked the most today (2 June) as it reached its conclusion, with over 850,000 mentions online. Over 591,000 of them were from the US, followed by close to 119,000 from the UK and over 64,000 from Brazil. Close to half (4%) of the online chatter of the trials online had negative sentiments, with only 6% having positive sentiments.

meltwater depp heard stats country

meltwater depp heard stats sentiment

In Southeast Asia, the Depp-Heard saga saw to 50 Million potential impressions on social media since 11 April, according to Truescope. Hahstags used on social media were in favour of Depp, with #Justiceforjohnnydepp appearing significantly, with #amberheardisaliar appearing frequently as well. Notable callouts on the word cloud include the incident of Amber Heard “pooping”, domestic violence, and "lawyer" mentions.

Meanwhile, Heard had fired her PR and crisis communications team Precision Strategies just days before she took the stand to testify against her ex-husband in the defamation case, multiple sources such as NBC and the New York Post reported. Precision Strategies' co-founder had previously been deputy campaign manager for former US President Barrack Obama's re-election campaign in 2012, according to NBC. A quick check by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE showed the agency has also worked with Gilead Sciences, IBM and March For Our Lives, a protest against the gun violence epidemic in the US.

Heard then switched to Shane Communications, a New York and Los Angeles-based communications and media strategy firm. According to the New York Post, Shane Communications, led by CCEO David Shane, has previously worked against Depp in 2017, when it represented Depp's former business managers who claimed that the actor needed to hire a shrink over his compulsive spending habits.

Separately, the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) Singapore was on the hot seat recently for posting a meme in reference to the ongoing defamation suit between celebrities Amber Heard and Johnny Depp. According to The Straits Times (ST), NCPC's post on Facebook, which has been taken down, used a viral still image of Heard's face from the trial, taken during her testimony about Depp conducting a cavity search on her.

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