A pro-Johnny Depp YouTuber was spreading lies and conspiracy theories about an employee of the public relations firm that works with Amber Heard, a law firm said in a cease-and-desist letter.
Laura Bockoven, who was once a real estate salesperson in Massachusetts, according to public real estate license records, regularly defends Depp on Twitter and YouTube. On Thursday, the law firm Bergeson LLP sent the cease-and-desist letter to Bockoven, who it says falsely claimed that a Twitter account that regularly defends Heard in viral threads belongs to Crisanta White, a publicist at Shane Communications, a firm contracted by the actress to manage her public relations.
White said in a public statement on her website that she has faced targeted harassment from Depp’s fans, including her family’s addresses being posted online.
The campaign against the publicist and the pro-Heard Twitter account is the latest online fallout created by the legal battle between Heard and Depp.
Bockoven has more than 70,000 Twitter followers and calls herself an “internet journalist” in her Twitter bio. On Wednesday, she tweeted a thread suggesting that the account “k4mil1aa,” better known as “Kamilla,” was run by White.
“I have always prided myself on having an outstanding reputation,” White wrote in her statement. “In turn, I am taking legal action against Laura.”
Some YouTubers and content creators amassed millions of views by covering the trial from a pro-Depp point of view. As pro-Heard creators have received more attention over time, creators have become more adversarial toward one another, extending the culture war sparked by the Heard-Depp legal battle.
“This you Kamilla?” Bockoven tweeted Wednesday, along with a Deadline article announcing Shane Communications hiring White. Bockoven and her followers then appeared to compare White, a Black woman, to a drawing of a Black woman that Kamilla has used as her profile picture on Twitter. Bockoven had not deleted the tweets at the time of publication.
“Ms. White has no relation to ‘Kamilla’s’ Twitter account. Ms. White has never posted to @k4mil1aa and does not know the identity of the real ‘Kamilla,’” said the cease-and-desist letter sent to Bockoven from Shane Communications, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News.
“We are hard pressed to understand why you think Ms. White is Kamilla. Is it because both women are African-American? Regardless, your false accusation against Ms. White has resulted in a steady stream of harassment and threats by people who believe your claim and are likeminded with respect to the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard defamation case.”
Reached by phone, White said that she is not affiliated with Kamilla’s account. Kamilla, who does not disclose her full name to protect her privacy, said in tweets and via direct message that she is not White. Bockoven did not respond to a request for comment.
“I’ve said time and time again that shes not me,” Kamilla tweeted Thursday. Her previous profile picture was a popular drawing of a Black woman by Sam Yang, a Toronto-based artist with 2 million Instagram followers. Yang posted the drawing on Instagram and Pinterest in July 2021 and described it as an exercise in drawing expressions and hair. Yang has not indicated that his drawings are inspired by any specific women.
“I am not that woman. Move on,” Kamilla tweeted later Thursday. When reached over direct message, the owner of the Kamilla account declined to verify their identity, citing fears of online outing and harassment.
Kamilla’s Twitter account, which has more than 20,000 followers, has posted viral tweets and threads in support of Heard, asking the public to re-evaluate the narrative Depp’s team and supporters pushed during the trial. Her posts have contributed to the growing online movement in defense of Heard now that the dust from the trial has settled.
“Since we’re all feminists again, can we revisit the Depp v Heard case? Here’s a thread of the most damning evidence against Johnny, most of which was suppressed or ignored by social media,” she wrote in one thread with more than 74,000 likes.
🧵 THREAD. Since we’re all feminists again, can we revisit the Depp v Heard case? Here’s a thread of the most damning evidence against Johnny, most of which was suppressed or ignored by social media. This is a long one. (Major warning for graphic and disturbing content). pic.twitter.com/MvwEgYCl6m
— kamilla (@k4mil1aa) June 27, 2022
In recent weeks, some of Heard’s supporters have noticed that their content is seemingly making an impact. Celebrities have begun unliking Depp’s Instagram post about winning the trial, pro-Heard spaces on Reddit and Twitter have grown, and TikTok, once an endless stream of pro-Depp videos and anti-Heard memes, has begun to react in Heard’s favor to unsealed documents from the trial that were publicized in July. Still, Depp-focused creators have continued to feed his fanbase with new content, including takedowns of the creators, journalists, academics and domestic violence experts who have spoken in defense of Heard.
Bockoven was one of the people who created viral pro-Depp content during the trial. Some of her tweets about the trial received more than 25,000 likes, and her YouTube videos about Depp’s legal cases have more than 370,000 combined views. She was also in contact with Depp’s team before the trial.
During his deposition, which was played to the jury during the trial, Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman said that he had been in communication with Bockoven in “the same way I would communicate with mainstream media.” Heard’s team accused Waldman of telling Bockoven and other YouTubers that Heard was “a liar and a hoax artist.”
Before, during and after the trial, Depp’s fans attacked Heard, her supporters and even her witnesses. The WebMD profile of a clinical psychologist who testified on Heard’s behalf was flooded with negative reviews during the trial, and content creators who defended Heard on social media said they were harassed by Depp’s fans. A psychiatrist who testified for Heard called the backlash he personally received “horrific.”
At the conclusion of the trial, a Virginia jury awarded Depp $15 million in damages and Heard $2 million in her counterclaim. Despite Depp’s success in the trial and in rallying public support, the pro-Depp fan community has continued its efforts to counter criticisms of the actor.
“Just so everyone knows I don’t feel comfortable with this at all and I really don’t like how my account is being used to harass black women,” Kamilla tweeted Thursday. The day before, she tweeted that she was a victim of intimate partner violence and stalking, which is why she said her account is anonymous. On Friday, Kamilla said she temporarily made her account private to mitigate the harassment.
In response to tweets about her thread about Kamilla’s identity inciting harassment toward White, Bockoven wrote “I just followed the research and where it took me. I never encouraged anyone to harass. Sorry.”
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com