TikTok's impact on the Depp-Heard trial takes center stage in a new NBC documentary

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This combination of photos shows actor Johnny Depp testifying at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Va., on April 21, 2022, left, and actor Amber Heard testifying in the same courtroom on May 26, 2022. The judge in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial made a jury's award official Friday with a written order for Heard to pay Depp $10.35 million for damaging his reputation by describing herself as a domestic abuse victim in an op-ed piece she wrote. (AP Photo)
An NBC News documentary will explore how TikTok swayed public opinion on the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial. (Uncredited / Associated Press)

Experts will hold a magnifying glass up to TikTok and its role in one of the year's most publicized court trials.

NBC News on Wednesday announced "A Marriage on Trial: Johnny Depp, Amber Heard and Truth in the Age of Social Media," a new documentary that will examine how the social media platform played into the actors' defamation trial in Fairfax, Va.

When the court hearings began in April, TikTok became a hotspot for seemingly endless pro-Depp and anti-Heard memes and videos about the trial, which was broadcast on CourtTV and other outlets. Numerous videos featuring the hashtag #justiceforjohnnydepp surpassed 2 million likes each.

Some posts featured audio clips from the trial, including Heard's comment about her dog stepping on a bee. Singer Doja Cat seemed to mock the line in a TikTok that has since been deleted. More than 450 TikTok videos seemingly mock Heard with a remix of her statement.

TikTok videos also praised Depp attorney Camille Vasquez, with some showing people cheering for Vasquez in public and others posting flattering video edits of the attorney. In another post, a TikTok user flaunted her Vasquez-inspired tattoo.

The defamation trial concluded on June 1, with jurors awarding $15 million in damages to Depp and $2 million in damages to Heard. Judge Penney Azcarate lowered Depp's winnings to approximately $10.4 million to comply with Virginia's statutory cap on punitive damages. However, the drama has continued with Heard's attempts to appeal and her since-denied request for a mistrial.

The 30-minute documentary will feature interviews with Heard attorney Elaine Bredehoft, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Chief Executive Ruth Glenn and others.

"A Marriage on Trial: Johnny Depp, Amber Heard and Truth in the Age of Social Media," will air Wednesday on the online streaming network NBC News NOW at 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET. and will be available on demand at NBCNews.com

The documentary will be NBC News' latest foray into the aftermath of the Depp-Heard defamation trial. In June, Heard sat down with Savannah Guthrie for her first post-trial interview.

During the tell-all "Dateline NBC" interview, which scored mediocre ratings, the "Aquaman" actor shared a binder of notes from her therapist that were not admitted at trial; NBC examined the notes and said they documented Heard talking about physical abuse as far back as 2012. The actor also opened up about her feelings for her ex-husband.

"I love him. I loved him with all my heart," Heard said. "And I tried the best I could to make a deeply broken relationship work, and I couldn't."

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.