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Johnny Depp’s lawyers say claims of online campaign on actor’s behalf are ‘absurd’ and ‘categorically false’

Attorneys Ben Chew and Camille Vasquez told Savannah Guthrie that rumors about a paid social media campaign to support Depp during his defamation trial against Amber heard were "utterly baseless."

Johnny Depp's lawyers called any suggestion that there was a coordinated social media campaign to smear Amber Heard during their defamation trial "utterly baseless" and "categorically false" on TODAY Wednesday, in their first public comments since the trial.

"That is utterly baseless," attorney Ben Chew told Savannah Guthrie, adding that the claims were "absolutely absurd."

Chew and fellow attorney Camille Vasquez were asked if Depp or anyone with his team paid for or encouraged support for Depp and negativity toward Heard on social media.

"Categorically false," Vasquez said.

Depp was awarded $10.4 million in damages by a jury on June 1 after three days of deliberation following a six-week trial. The jury also awarded Heard $2 million after finding a statement made by a member of Depp's legal team to be defamatory.

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star received a huge outpouring of support on social media and from fans in person gathering outside the courthouse during the trial. Heard’s lawyer, Elaine Charlson Bredehoft said on TODAY last week that she believes it affected the jury.

“There’s no way they couldn’t have been influenced by it, and it was horrible,” she said. “It really, really was lopsided.”

Chew and Vasquez responded to Bredehoft's claims on Wednesday.

"No, I don't think there's any reason to believe that the jurors violated their oath," Chew said. "And again, that suggestion was disappointing to hear."

"It is everywhere, but at the same time, they were admonished every single night," Vasquez said about the jury. "And they had a tremendous amount of respect for the court and the process, and they were doing the best that they could."

Hashtags in support of Depp on TikTok received billions of views, and the actor responded Tuesday by joining TikTok and posting a message thanking his fans.

“To all of my most treasured, loyal and unwavering supporters,” he wrote. “We’ve been everywhere together, we have seen everything together. We have walked the same road together. We did the right thing together, all because you cared."

Heard, who plans to appeal the case, then issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon slamming Depp’s TikTok post.

“As Johnny Depp says he’s ‘moving forward,’ women’s rights are moving backward,” she said through a spokesperson. “The verdict’s message to victims of domestic violence is ... be afraid to stand up and speak out.”

Depp sued Heard for $50 million over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018 in which she identified as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Depp was not named in the story, but his lawyers argued that it was an “implication” that Depp was an abuser. He denied all allegations of abuse.

Vasquez said Depp has felt "an overwhelming sense of relief" since winning the trial.

The verdict effectively served as a rejection of Heard’s testimony that Depp had physically and mentally abused her.

"My sense is that it had a lot to do with accountability," Chew said. "Johnny owned and was candid about his alcohol and drug issues. He was candid about some unfortunate texts that he wrote, and I think it was a sharp contrast to Miss Heard, who didn't seem, or at least the jury may have perceived, that she didn't take accountability for anything."

Chew and Vasquez are prepared for any appeal of the verdict by Heard's attorney.

"We feel very confident that there are no errors that would justify any kind of successful appeal," Chew said.