Johnny Depp Criticized Journalists in Name With Influencer Earlier than Trial

  • Johnny Depp had a cellphone name with Instagram influencer Jessica Reed Kraus forward of his defamation trial in opposition to Amber Heard, Kraus stated.
  • Kraus has gained a whole bunch of 1000’s of followers whereas posting in regards to the trial, usually criticizing Heard.
  • She advised Insider that movie star pals of Depp checked in with him all through the trial.

All through Johnny Depp’s trial in opposition to his ex-wife Amber Heard, Jessica Reed Kraus diligently posted about it on Instagram.

Watching testimony from the courtroom in Fairfax County, Virginia, Kraus posted each day updates with an unabashedly pro-Depp perspective to her a whole bunch of 1000’s of followers. Her help for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor has develop into a boon for her account, @houseinhabit, which now sits at just below 1 million followers. That quantity roughly doubled through the trial, in line with the social media statistics tracker Socialblade.

On Tuesday, Kraus revealed that she had spoken to Depp in the beginning of the trial. Throughout an hour-and-a-half-long dialog, he had shared his “musings on the demise of journalistic integrity” and advised her he appreciated her work, Kraus wrote in a Substack publish.

“‘I do not know you’ he says, ‘however I do know, simply by the phrases you utilize and the aesthetic in your work, that I belief you,'” Kraus wrote, quoting Depp. “He touches briefly on the Rolling Stone article that shredded his popularity and ruined his belief in media. A betrayal he hasn’t but recovered from. “The widely-read 2018 profile, which Depp was interviewed for, lined the actor’s authorized and monetary difficulties.

In addition they talked about Depp’s “tendency to belief the flawed folks, and the difficulty it is induced him in numerous durations all through his life,” in line with Kraus’ account.

Kraus wrote on Substack that she was linked with Depp by way of “an previous good friend of Johnny’s,” who she met by way of Instagram. Kraus and the good friend, who she would not title, later met in individual and hung out collectively through the trial, she advised Insider. Typically, she obtained to overhear FaceTime calls between Depp and his pals.

Through the trial, Kraus stayed on the similar resort as Depp’s authorized crew. At one level, she posted photographs to Instagram of Depp’s lawyer Benjamin Chew within the resort elevator sporting shorts and a Hollywood Vampires T-shirt.

She met Depp, Kraus advised Insider, at a cocktail get together that was held on the resort after he testified, and snapped an image of him. A supply near Depp confirmed the veracity of Kraus’ photograph.

The defamation trial lasted six weeks, and particulars about Depp’s and Heard’s turbulent relationship and Hollywood existence dominated the web. As Depp and Heard got here and went from the courthouse, throngs of Depp’s followers lined the road, holding up indicators and shouting phrases of help and encouragement.

Kraus stated Depp didn’t perceive the dimensions of consideration the trial was receiving.

“He is so naive,” Kraus stated. “He did not even perceive, on these cellphone calls, how viral each a part of the trial was, as a result of he is not likely on social media.”

Celebrities referred to as Depp to verify in with him through the trial, Kraus stated

Depp has thus far not performed any interviews with media organizations following the jury verdict in early June, although Chew and one other one in every of his attorneys, Camille Vasquez, have spoken to a number of retailers. Heard sat down for an interview with NBC Information’s “Right this moment” present co-anchor Savannah Guthriethe place she stated she believes extra proof may need swayed the jury to succeed in a verdict extra in her favor.

Of their 90-minute dialog in the beginning of the trial, Kraus and Depp talked about their mutual love of books, discussing Hunter S. Thompson and David Foster Wallace, she wrote in her Substack publish. He additionally advised her he makes use of a typewriter to write down and outlined “a revolution that may entail burying our cell telephones and laptops to [sever] our obsessive dependency on them, “she wrote.

johnny depp amber heard trial courtroom gallery

Spectators arrive to take a seat within the courtroom throughout Johnny Depp’s defamation case in opposition to ex-wife Amber Heard on the Fairfax County Circuit Courtroom in Fairfax, Virginia, US, April 26, 2022.

Brendan Smialowski / Pool through REUTERS


“Opposite to the accusations that can later pin me as a Die arduous Depp fan, I do not know a lot about him, so these revelations, slight as they is likely to be, are information to me,” Kraus wrote.

She additionally stated that Depp was “bathed in sluggish southern appeal.”

“In dialog he comes throughout sensible, curious, humorous and well mannered,” Kraus wrote. “Vulnerable to shifting into character voices precisely as one would possibly anticipate from the Johnny Depp we all know onscreen. However aside from that, he’s humble, right down to earth, and extremely attentive.”

Through the trial, Kraus hung out with Depp’s “previous good friend,” she advised Insider. She stated she noticed Depp take calls from celebrities who expressed their help because the case progressed.

“I am hanging out together with his good friend for six weeks, so I am listening to FaceTimes between them,” Kraus stated. “Mainly, all these cellphone calls with celebrities that decision in to verify in on him, which turned a really cool type of angle as a result of it type of simply made him an everyday man. All these folks speaking about him like he is simply their good friend.”

After their first dialog, over the cellphone, Kraus and Depp did not communicate once more till she met him in individual on the cocktail get together following the trial’s closing arguments, Kraus stated. She wrote that Depp was not “attempting to form the route of a narrative, or affect the way in which by which it is advised.” He thanked her “for caring sufficient to carve it with intent,” not like media organizations which have “failed him so many occasions earlier than,” Kraus wrote. Kraus declined to share particulars of her conversations with Depp past what she wrote in her Substack publish.

It is not the primary time folks near Depp have reached out to on-line personalities who’ve endorsed his model of occasions.

Adam Waldman, an lawyer who has represented Depp, testified in a deposition for the trial that he has communicated with “web journalists” comparable to ThatUmbrellaGuy, an internet persona who has made quite a few movies and social media posts essential of Heard. (Waldman made the feedback that defamed Heard, a jury discovered, by performing as Depp’s “agent” when she referred to as a few of her allegations a “hoax.”)

Depp v. Heard is not the primary trial Kraus has lined

Kraus has carved a outstanding place for herself on social media, creating elaborate Instagram tales about information occasions. She attended Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial in New York in November and December – waking up within the early hours of the morning to be first in line and safe a seat within the courtroom every day – and supplied updates to her followers on social media. She’s additionally provided detailed protection of the Britney Spears conservatorship battle, the demise of Gabby Petito, and drama across the British royal household.

She can be not shy about sharing her perspective, which within the Johnny Depp trial has been unabashedly pro-Depp. In her Instagram posts, she has referred to as Heard a liar who’s “undermining sexual and home abuse on a worldwide scale” and “making a mockery of the Me Too motion” with a “faux wine bottle rape“story. New York journal described her as “a chief instigator of the anti-Heard story line.”

Jurors in the end got here to related conclusions as Kraus, delivering a verdict that discovered Depp and Heard defamed one another however tilted closely in Depp’s favor.

ghislaine maxwell courthouse line outside

Folks line up at court docket earlier than the Ghislaine Maxwell trial within the Manhattan borough of New York Metropolis, New York, US, December 10, 2021.

REUTERS / Carlo Allegri


Kraus advised Insider that she would not think about herself a journalist, however only a “author.” Her Substack account describes her as a part of “a motion embracing a brand new wave of unbiased journalism” the place members of the general public can straight help writers who can “be as inventive and uncensored and controversial” as they need, away from the “unbridled censorship” of conventional media.

“I simply see it in its place method to reporting. Going in opposition to conventional journalistic guidelines – in that I do lean on gossip and nameless sources and humor and emotion, however the primary quest for reality, paired with a versatile narrative, I believe speaks to folks in an actual method, “Kraus advised Insider. “My objective in these tales is easy: to humanize the folks and the circumstances concerned. Providing a extra private connection in protection.”

Her method is to be as clear as potential together with her followers and take them by way of her information-gathering course of, she stated. Kraus stated a lot of the knowledge she shared got here from trial testimony and fascinating issues that got here to her by way of her Instagram DMs. Typically, she would hear from individuals who, based mostly on the photographs or texts they included, had direct involvement within the occasions lined within the trial. Different materials was “simply unconfirmed gossip.”

“Nothing was calculated. The great thing about this entire story is it occurred very organically, as a result of I opened up my website,” Kraus stated. “However the gossip that got here in finally supported all of the proof that got here by way of. So it was from individuals who know them straight that type of formed my entire angle.”

After the trial, each Kraus and Depp ended up in London. For Kraus, it was a pre-planned journey to attend the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. When the decision got here in, she was sitting in a pub with pals.

Later, she attended Depp’s live performance in London, the place he carried out alongside Jeff Beck. The invitation had come from one in every of Depp’s pals.

Kraus watched him from the viewers, however did not get an opportunity to talk with him once more.

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