Johnny Depp said his trust in media was “ruined” by a Rolling Stone article that “shredded his reputation” and led him to bemoan the “death of journalistic integrity” amid his legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard, according to an Instagram influencer.
Jessica Reed Kraus is a citizen-journalist, blogger, and social media influencer who amassed nearly 1 million followers on Instagram thanks partly to her daily coverage of the Depp-Heard trial in Fairfax, Virginia, over the last two months.
In a Substack post, Kraus revealed that she spent 90 minutes on the phone with Depp in early May, when the “Edward Scissorhands” star offered up his “musings on the death of journalistic integrity.”
Passages from the Substack post, which is behind a paywall, were cited by Insider.
Depp sued Heard for libel in Virginia over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in the Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”
His lawyers said he was defamed by the article even though it never mentioned his name.
Though the jury sided with Depp, Heard was also awarded $2 million over her claim that one of Depp’s attorneys defamed her.
Kraus, who posted daily updates on the trial from a staunchly pro-Depp perspective, wrote that she earned the actor’s trust.
According to Kraus, Depp told her: “I don’t know you, but I know, just by the words you use and the aesthetic in your work, that I trust you.”
She wrote that Depp’s mistrust of the news media was rooted in a 2018 story by Rolling Stone magazine — which was titled “The Trouble With Johnny Depp.”
The article detailed the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star’s descent into “a haze of booze and hash” that was exacerbating a “marriage gone very wrong” and a “lifestyle he can’t afford.”
In her conversation with the actor, the influencer said Depp “touches briefly on the Rolling Stone article that shredded his reputation and ruined his trust in media.”
Kraus wrote that the Rolling Stone story was a “betrayal he hasn’t yet recovered from.”
The Post has sought comment from Rolling Stone and its parent company, Penske Media Corporation.
Depp is also said to have confided in Kraus that he had a “tendency to trust the wrong people” — acknowledging “the trouble it’s caused him in various periods throughout his life.”
Kraus, who has used her Instagram account to post selfies taken with Depp lawyers Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez, reportedly met the actor at a cocktail party that took place shortly after he testified.
She said Depp didn’t grasp the intense social media scrutiny that the trial had generated.
“He’s so naive,” Kraus said. “He didn’t even understand, on those phone calls, how viral every part of the trial was, because he is not really on social media.”