The City University of New York deleted an article boasting of a recent grad who served on Johnny Depp’s legal team and said it was not intended to question any allegations that were made by Amber Heard — even while a jury already ruled in Depp’s favor on June 1.
The school cited “strong negative emotions” from some readers and apologized for ever posting the article.
“We appreciate everyone who shared their concerns about an article in our newsletter featuring a recent CUNY graduate who worked on Johnny Depp’s legal team,” the school wrote, as reported by The College Fix. The article was about Yarelyn Mena, a 2015 school grad.
“We understand the strong negative emotions this article elicited and apologize for publishing the item. We have removed it from our CUNYverse blog. The article was not meant to convey support for Mr. Depp, implicitly or otherwise, or to call into question any allegations that were made by Amber Heard. Domestic violence is a serious issue in our society and we regret any pain this article may have caused.”
Depp and Heard were recently embroiled in a public lawsuit in which each side accused the other of domestic violence.
The jury awarded Depp compensatory damages in the amount of $10 million, and punitive damages of $5 million. Notably, Virginia has a $350,000 cap on punitive damages, which the judge adjusted in Depp’s case following the reading of the verdict.
The jury ruled unanimously in favor of Depp in his case, responding yes to every question asked on whether he had proved that Heard had acted with actual malice, and that statements made by Heard in regards to Depp were false.
In regards to Heard’s countersuit, the jury found that she had, only in some cases, proven her case of defamation against Depp. She was awarded just $2 million in her counter-suit against Depp.
“We were focused on the case around the clock and almost lived in a bubble throughout the trial so the pressure from the spotlight didn’t affect us as much on a day to day,” Mena said in the article. “We are a tight knit team that kept each other grounded and fixed on our client’s needs.”
As a third year associate, Mena said she’s fortunate to have worked a trial already because most cases don’t go to trial.
The article featured a photo of Mena sitting with Depp.
Brooklyn College History Professor KC Johnson said the deletion was “not a good look for CUNY, to put it mildly.”
Depp filed the $50 million lawsuit against Heard, in which he accused her of libeling him in a 2018 op-ed that she wrote for the Washington Post, describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Following the ruling, Depp said the “jury gave me my life back.”
Heard, meanwhile, is “absolutely not” able to pay damages owed to Depp, according to her attorney, who also claimed the jury was influenced by social media.
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