Johnny Depp case: Man who went viral on TikTok claiming to be a juror admits it was a 'prank'
The prankster was not pleased to be discovered, saying 'leave me alone'.
A man who went viral after claiming to be a juror during Johnny Depp's defamation case victory against Amber Heard has since confessed that his posts were a "prank".
The anonymous man posted eight videos on the TikTok account @seekinginfinite last Thursday and Friday seemingly dishing the dirt on what happened during the case that gripped the globe for six weeks, and ended with Depp being awarded £15m, and Heard £2m. He said that he wanted to remain anonymous for the time being but would "consider confirming my identity" in the future.
In his videos, the man, claimed he felt "extremely uncomfortable" with Heard repeatedly looking at the jury when she answered questions and suggested, "everything she was saying would just come off like bull****". His comments, which included, "good news for Johnny Depp" largely echoed what the Pirates of the Carribean stars' supporters had earlier claimed on social media.
So, unsurprisingly, they went viral.
The man deactivated his TikTok account on Friday and later admitted to CNN Business that it was "just a prank".
The man, said to be a cinematographer in his late 20s, told the publisher on Sunday: "I deleted everything, leave me alone, and don't spread my information please."
He went on to tell the publisher that he did not "give you permission to use any of my information in any article" and suggested there was "more important things to write about, such as mass shootings, climate change, war, etc".
Asked what inspired him to pretend to be a juror, he said: "I'm sorry but I'm not answering any more questions."
Casey Fiesler, an assistant professor of information science at University of Colorado Boulder, told CNN that TikTok algorithms favour controversial content, but questioned why anyone thought "this is real".
"It seemed to me that this is totally the kind of thing somebody would just do for views, for a joke or whatever." She added: "
"One of the big challenges with misinformation on social media is it's very, very hard to correct it."
On Monday, a court stenographer made headlines after claiming a few jurors dozed off during trial.
Judy Bellinger told the Law&Crime Network that a few jurors struggled to stay awake, particularly during the video depositions, saying: "There were a few jurors who were dozing off," Bellinger said, noting that the sleeping jurors were in the front and back rows.
Read the full CNN report here.