The Johnny Depp/Amber Heard court battle was certainly not a secret, but a notebook that an attorney kept during part of the trial was. Millions of people tuned in to watch the real-life courtroom drama of Johnny Depp suing his ex-wife Amber Heard over defamation charges, setting a record for Court TV viewership. During the trial, an attorney from Kentucky traveled to Fairfax County, Virginia, where the trial took place, to view the proceedings. The attorney, Larry Forman (aka ‘The DUI Guy’) sat in the courtroom for six days of the six-week trial and recorded his observations.
In case you are unfamiliar with the lawsuit, Depp sued Heard for $50M over an op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post in 2018, claiming she was a domestic violence victim. Heard countersued Depp for $100M, claiming that Depp defamed her through statements made by Depp’s divorce attorney, Adam Waldman. In the end, Depp prevailed, and the jury awarded him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages (the latter of which, the judge adjusted that down to $350K, as Virginia law limits punitive damages). Heard was awarded $2 million, as the jury believed that Depp’s attorney did make defamatory statements regarding her.
Over the six days Larry Forman watched from the gallery, he took 60 or so pages of notes, including information that was not aired on TV. Forman stated, “I recorded my personal impressions of the jurors’ reactions to the testimony, as well as things the lawyers were doing that was not captured on video.” When the trial ended on June 1, 2022, Forman put his notebook up for sale on eBay for just 99 cents – the cost of the notebook. After a week of bidding, the notebook racked up 142 bids and sold for $14,969! Forman donated 100% of the proceeds to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) because of testimony he heard during the trial referring to an unfulfilled pledge made by Amber Heard. After her divorce in 2016, she pledged to donate half of her $7 million settlement to CHLA; to date, the hospital has only received $250K of the pledged amount. It’s been reported that Elon Musk made the $250K donation on her behalf.