University Removes Article About Alumna Because She Worked On Johnny Depp’s Legal Team
Actor Johnny Depp leaves the courtroom during a break at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 27, 2022.

The City University of New York (CUNY) removed an article on its website about a Hunter College graduate because she had worked on Johnny Depp’s legal team in his defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard.

Yarelyn Mena graduated from Hunter College, part of New York’s public college system, in 2015 and is an associate attorney at Brown Rudnick LLP. At 29, she was also the younger lawyer on Depp’s legal team.

“I worked with the team on the opening and the closing and was the master of the facts of all the evidence,” Mena said in the now-deleted article. “If someone needed pictures or text messages, I would look them up and assist everyone as we went along.”

But because she worked in defense of a man who had been accused of domestic violence, CUNY removed the article celebrating one of its graduates. A link to the article now includes the following statement:

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. 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.

Brooklyn College professor K.C. Johnson noted the school’s removal on Twitter, explaining that Mena is the daughter of two immigrants from the Dominican Republic. Johnson also explained that the deleted article contained advice for students “who might want a future in law, but was removed, it seems, because of protests about the CUNY grad’s client.”

CUNY’s removal of the article and statement is all the more curious because Depp won his defamation case against Heard and showed evidence that he was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of his ex-wife. As The Daily Wire reported in June, Depp was awarded a total of $15 million in monetary damages, while Heard was awarded $2 million for her countersuit. The counterclaim that Heard won related to a statement from one of Depp’s attorneys, not Depp himself. Following the award, the judge noted that Virginia law caps punitive damages at $350,000, meaning Depp was awarded $10.35 million for a total of $8 million after removing Heard’s damages.

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