If you’ve been following the Johnny Depp / Amber Heard saga, you’re well aware of how many twists and turns there have been over the last two years. And the reason you’re aware is that tabloids always seem to get a one-sided look at ‘evidence’ being submitted in the proceedings. Consequently, on several occasions, the judge presiding over the Virginia lawsuit between the divorced actors has made it clear he doesn’t want their defamation case tried in the press. Now, according to Courthouse News, Judge Bruce White has thrown Depp’s attorney Adam Waldman off the case after learning the lawyer had given the press confidential information covered under a protective order.
Waldman, a former lobbyist for Russian oligarch and Kremlin insider Oleg Deripaska, was admitted pro hac vice — for this case only — to Fairfax County Circuit Court in September 2019. That same month, Court House News reports, Judge White signed a protective order governing the treatment of Depp and Heard’s personal information like medical records, including psychological conditions, diagnoses or treatment.
Heard moved for sanctions against the Washington attorney last month, contending that the press leaks happened “on at least two occasions.”
She said Waldman was responsible for disseminating audio recordings, surveillance pictures and declarations from third-party witnesses to websites and Twitter users, “leading readers and potential jurors to believe that these declarations are somehow official case documents, which they are not.” Souces say part of that cache of leaked material was the infamous edited/manipulated audio recording between Amber Heard and Depp. The unedited audio is 2 hours in length and was selectively cut down to 46 minutes before the public heard it through various sources.
In a court appearance today, Heard’s lawyers accused Waldman of spreading false rumors about their client and White, who is chief judge of the 19th Circuit, agreed and moved to revoke Waldman’s pro hac vice status, agreeing Waldman had violated ethical standards.
Waldman did not return a request for comment.
In July, Team Heard accused Waldman of using troll bots in an attempt to influence opinion on social media after Times of London reported Bot Sentinel, a group that uses artificial intelligence to detect and track troll bots & suspect Twitter accounts, found the actress “had been a victim of an ongoing targeted harassment and smear campaign”.
The concluding report claims to have identified active inauthentic accounts created specifically to target the Twitter account of Ms Heard and to push traffic to two anti-Amber Heard change.org petitions asking she be fired from two high profile projects.