The stenographer who chronicled the libel trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has rejected allegations of bias after she was seen hugging Depp on the final day of the trial.
Judy Bellinger was recorded hugging Depp after closing arguments on Friday, May 27, in footage shared on social media. Heard’s fans claim that this shows she did not get a fair trial, and suggest that the behavior showed that the stenographer was not impartial during the process. The verdict was read five days after Bellinger was seen interacting with Depp’s team. Bellinger denied that she was “partying” with Depp.
Depp won the lawsuit against Heard, which was prompted by an opinion piece from the Washington Post of 2018 that bore his name. Bellinger works for the private firm Planet Depos, which was hired by Depp and Heard’s legal teams to record everything that was said during the proceedings.
Bellinger declared to Law & Crime that Depp asked his team that he “would very much like to meet the court reporter.” She explains that since he was locked out of the courtroom, he was going to pick up his transcription kit from Depp’s attorney, Ben Chew, at the actor’s hotel in Northern Virginia.
He said Depp’s request to meet was a surprise. “I thought, ‘I’m just the court reporter.'” She met with Depp’s team in the hotel reception room.
“Johnny was there, so I had to go get my gear and I saw him, and they said, ‘He really wants to meet you,’” Bellinger said. “Maybe I was there less than 10 minutes, and he just hugged me and thanked me again. And I hugged a couple more people there, and I got my gear and I went out, I went home.”
Asked about online claims that he partied with Depp, Bellinger replied, “That didn’t happen. I had to drive about 50 minutes to my house, so no, that didn’t happen.”
Social media users shared videos of Bellinger and Depp laughing in court during the trial. The presenter of Law & CrimeAngenette Levy, lashed out at those who attacked Bellinger.
“People are posting that stenographer Judy from Johnny Depp’s trial against Amber Heard was ‘partying’ with JD. It isn’t true. First of all, Judy is not a court employee. She was hired by the Depp and Heard teams. Second, she wasn’t partying with him,” she tweeted on June 2. “Judy was at that event maybe 10 minutes. The courthouse closes at 4 and her team had stayed inside. Depp’s lawyers looked him up for her. She picked up the items from her and JD hugged her and left. That is all”.
“Judy is being attacked online. Leave her alone. She has done nothing wrong,” Levy added.
The video was posted on the Instagram page of writer Jessica Reed Kraus. She after initially posting her video on her instagram storieslater published it in his feed usual.
Regarding the “already infamous video of Judy hugging Johnny on the way out,” Kraus wrote that “the fact that this has become a point of contention (after the verdict) tells us exactly how desperate those who support the side are. de Heard for undermining this ruling in any way possible. Even if it means attacking an innocent party, [cuyo] role in the room is totally and completely unbiased.”
“The scene I captured was short, sweet and genuine: a simple act of gratitude after a stressful trial was over. In this saga that captivated the entire world, ‘Judy the Smiling Stenographer’ brought a bright light to our television screens every day. The gesture of saying hello to him was also just a lovely thank you,” Kraus added.
“As she said, if Heard’s team had reached out to her with the same affection, she would have responded to them exactly the same way. So stop forced conspiracies. This woman is no one’s pawn, and I can attest that there is an army online that is happy to come to her defense if she needs it,” she wrote. “But the story begins and ends in this frame.”