Per-jury | 

Fake juror from Depp vs Heard trial claims viral TikToks were 'just a joke'

The anonymous man shared a series of videos on the TikTok account @seekinginfinite last week claiming to be one of the 7 people sitting on the jury for the high-profile case.

Johnny Depp (AP Photo/Steve Helber, Pool)

Neasa Cumiskey

A man who went viral on TikTok for claiming to be a juror during Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against Amber Heard has admitted his posts were “just a prank.”

The anonymous man shared a series of videos on the TikTok account @seekinginfinite last week claiming to be one of the 7 people sitting on the jury for the high-profile case, which saw Depp being awarded $15m (€14m) while Heard won $2m (€1.8m) in her countersuit at Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia earlier this month.

In his videos, the man claimed that he was “extremely uncomfortable” with Heard making incessant eye contact with the jury and couldn’t look at her while she testified.

He said that “everything she was saying would just come off like bull****,” adding that he thought Heard was a “crazy woman.”

He also said that he was a fan of Depp’s lawyer, Camille Vasquez, for more than one reason.

Amber Heard

“I just think she was really sharp and knew what she was doing and did it with purpose and integrity. All the business stuff aside, she wasn't too bad on the eyes.”

The videos posted by @seekinginfinite quickly went viral but the account’s owner, who is believed to be a cinematographer in his late 20s, deactivated his page on Friday.

He later admitted to CNN Business that the videos were “just a prank.”

When asked by the publisher if he was a juror on the trial, he initially said: “I'm sorry that is none of your business,” before acknowledging that he was behind the account: “I deleted everything, leave me alone and don't spread my information please.

“I do not give you permission to use any of my information in any article. There's 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, suggesting that “the odds that someone with very few followers can have something go viral is higher [that on other platforms].”

Fiesler said that she questioned why people believed the videos in the first place.

“My first thought was, ‘Why do people think this is real?’ At the same time, there were a lot of comments — clearly just people assuming that it was real, and there was certainly nothing to support that.

“There was no kind of evidence. It seemed to me that this is totally the kind of thing somebody would just do for views, for a joke or whatever.

“One of the big challenges with misinformation on social media is it's very, very hard to correct it,” she added.

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