Late final summer time, the authorized publication Greatest Attorneys flagged Johnny Depp’s legal professional Camille Vasquez among the many “Ones to Watch” for 2022. Vasquez’s publicity then shot to the stratosphere throughout her pugnacious cross-examination of Amber Heard, watched by tens of millions this week.
An affiliate on the Orange County workplace of the agency Brown Rudnick, Vasquez started her questioning earlier this week with heavy expectations. Heard had simply completed emotional and often-tearful testimony about allegations of bodily and sexual abuse that would solely be described as horrific.
Recapping roughly a dozen alleged incidents, Heard gave testimony just like her allegations that persuaded a U.Ok. choose that it was truthful to name Depp a “wife-beater.” She claimed that Depp raped her with a liquor bottle, leaving her bleeding from her vagina. She stated that Depp routinely slapped and punched her. Greater than as soon as, Heard stated that she thought she would die.
Then got here Vasquez’s cross-examination.
“Mr. Depp Lastly Advised the World”
Almost immediately, Vasquez landed a gap blow in her goal to recast the narrative of who was the abuser. She performed a recording of Heard showing to taunt Depp about whether or not the courts or the general public would view him, “a person,” as a sufferer.
“Please inform individuals it was a good battle, and see what the jury and choose will assume,” Heard stated on the tape. “Inform the world, Johnny. Inform them Johnny Depp, ‘I Johnny Depp, a person, am too a sufferer of home violence.’”
After urgent her about that tape, Vasquez pounced: “You’re right here on this courtroom as a result of Mr. Depp lastly informed the world that he’s the sufferer of home violence.”
There’s little public report to explain the California lawyer’s personal journey to the small courthouse in Fairfax County, Va., the place Depp and Heard’s dueling defamation claims have captivated the world. Vasquez’s bio on her agency’s web site doesn’t checklist any of her earlier purchasers. Neither does what seems to be her LinkedIn web page, which lists her as a graduate of Southwestern Legislation Faculty in 2010.
The primary gig listed on Vasquez’s on-line CV appeared seven years later as an legal professional with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, a Los Angeles-based agency that reported greater than $316 million in income in 2017. Courtroom information, nonetheless, present her working with that agency since as early as early as 2014.
Brown Rudnick, her present employer, is equally a powerhouse listed among the many American Lawyer’s high 200 corporations in the USA.
Information from the Central District of California, the federal jurisdiction that features Vasquez’s workplace, solely exhibits her look in eight prior instances, largely contract, employer, labor or insurance coverage disputes. None of these concerned Hollywood megastars, and save for a subsidiary of AT&T, a lot of the events weren’t well-known. That cross-section of instances doesn’t embrace different state and federal courts, and Depp’s publicists didn’t present any extra data to Legislation&Crime about Vasquez’s profession for this text, citing the bustle of trial.
Thrust into the limelight, Vasquez grew to become an icon to legions of the Pirates of the Caribbean actor’s supporters, who lit up social media with the hashtag #JusticeforJohnnyDepp. A lot of Depp’s supporters view the defamation trial as a reckoning over what they view because the excesses the #MeToo motion, which was then a few yr previous when Heard wrote her Washington Publish op-ed calling herself a survivor of home violence.
Heard supporters solid Depp’s lawsuit as weaponized misogyny, allegedly re-victimizing a home abuse survivor by way of litigation that may harass, pathologize and humiliate her. Depp’s forensic psychologist recognized Heard as having borderline persona dysfunction and histrionic persona dysfunction, sparking a much less delicate hashtag #AmberHeardIsaPsychopath. After Depp accused Heard of soiling their mattress, one other hashtag emerged: #AmberTurd. Heard denied the allegation, and a U.Ok. choose didn’t imagine it, both.
“Kinda Just like the Carly Simon Music”
As the girl on the middle of the cultural debate, Vasquez walked a fragile line of zealously representing her shopper, tenaciously questioning each phrase of Heard’s testimony, and unraveling the forces that helped form the media narrative.
For this trial, one of the crucial fateful forces was the American Civil Liberties Union, the greater than 100-year-old rights group that helped write Heard’s op-ed and place it within the Washington Publish in December 2018.
The group, historically related to defending the due-process rights of the accused, has been sharply criticized for convicting Depp of against the law, for which he has by no means been charged—and doing it on behalf of somebody whom they thought could be a significant donor.
After her divorce with Depp grew to become finalized, Heard vowed to donate her divorce settlement to the ACLU and Kids’s Hospital Los Angeles, however Vasquez famous that she hasn’t but fulfilled these obligations.
“Sitting right here immediately, you haven’t donated the $7 million — donated, not pledged, donated — the $7 million divorce settlement to charity,” Vasquez stated.
After Heard asserted that she considered the phrases as “synonymous,” Vasquez shot again: “I don’t.”
Vasquez additionally didn’t flinch from the trial’s most annoying allegations, interrogating Heard at size about her harrowing allegations of sexual assault in Australia in March 2015.
Heard claimed that was when Depp took eight to 10 drugs of MDMA, smashed a wall-mounted cellphone to smithereens, sliced the tip of his finger off within the course of after which held her down by the neck over the bar in a single hand whereas grabbing a liquor bottle to penetrate her with one other.
After Vasquez questioned the plausibility of that account, Heard replied: “I by no means testified to a sequence.”
Heard claimed that Depp trashed their Australian residence on the time, together with by portray a mirror with black and pink scrawl. To attempt to undermine the declare, Vasquez pointed to a message on the underside left of the body.
“Name Carly Simon. She Stated It Higher, Babe,” learn the pink textual content within the mirror, adopted by a smiley face.
Spelling out the obvious reference to “You’re So Useless,” Vasquez recommended that it was extra more likely to be Heard’s “snarky” handiwork. Heard stated later in her testimony that the Publish op-ed that Depp sued over was probably not about him, however reasonably in regards to the broader social points.
“Kinda just like the Carly Simon track, isn’t it, Ms. Heard,” Vasquez quipped.
It was the second time Vasquez introduced out the feminist anthem to attempt to undermine the controversial #MeToo determine.
(Photograph by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/POOL/AFP by way of Getty Pictures)
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