The City University of New York has removed a profile of a graduate who was the youngest member of Johnny Depp’s legal team in his defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard.
Yarleyn Mena, 29, a 2015 graduate of CUNY’s Hunter College and a Brown Rudnick LLP associate, was originally commended for her work helping Depp win a $10.35 million verdict in the heated lawsuit that drew the nation’s attention. pulled.
However, the endorsement for the graduate went out after CUNY said it raised concerns from students and faculty about the profile piece when they offered an apology.
“We understand the strong negative emotions this article aroused and apologize for publishing the item,” the public university system said in a statement replacing the link to Mena’s story.
“The article was not intended to endorse Mr Depp, implied or otherwise, or to question any allegations made by Amber Heard,” CUNY added.
“Domestic violence is a serious problem in our society and we regret the pain this article may have caused.”
Yarleyn Mena, 29, a 2015 graduate of CUNY’s Hunter College and a Brown Rudnick LLP associate, was the youngest attorney on Johnny Depp’s legal team
Depp (right) assured the Brown Rudnick team, including Camille Vasquez (left), who helped the actor win a $10.35 million verdict against ex-wife Amber Heard
Mena (third from left) hugged her team as they secured the verdict in the highly publicized lawsuit on June 1. Her inclusion on the team was touted by her alma case on Aug. 3 before CUNY removed the story after backlash from students and faculty
In the original article, published Aug. 3, the headline of the CUNYverse newsletter read, “This CUNY graduate was the youngest attorney to serve on Johnny Depp’s legal team.”
It featured an overview of Mena, the daughter of two lawyers from the Dominican Republic, who received her law degree from Fordham University.
In the article, she described her role on the legal team, led by Benjamin Chew, in the Depp v. Heard trial.
“I worked with the team on the opening and closing and was the master of the facts of all the evidence,” Mena said. “If someone needed pictures or texts, I would look them up and help everyone along the way.”
She added that the legal team was incredibly focused on the process and mostly oblivious to the spectacle it had become, adding that in the aftermath it was exciting to know that such a big case was the first to go. she had to appear in court.
‘I’m a third-year associate and I’m lucky to have taken a test so early in my career. Most cases don’t go to court,’ she noted.
“We were focused on the case around the clock and almost lived in a bubble during the trial, so the pressure of the spotlight didn’t affect us that much from day to day.
‘We are a close-knit team that kept each other grounded and fixated on our client’s needs.’
The article also included tips from Mena to other students to stand out in law school and avoid college pressure.
Neither CUNY nor Mena immediately responded to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Pictured: Mena (center) graduating from CUNY’s Hunter College in 2015 as she is accompanied by her parents, both lawyers who immigrated from the Dominican Republic
While CUNY claimed it had been criticized for the article, the decision to remove it sparked its own wave of criticism, with CUNY Brooklyn College professor KC Johnson condemning the move.
“Not good for CUNY, to say the least,” he tweeted.
‘A rule of the institution’ [groveling] apology could even be read as casting doubt on the jury’s verdict in the civil case,” he added.
“CUNY’s message to talented young law graduates seems to be: We’ll only celebrate if we institutionalize your client.”
Despite closing in June, the Depp v. Heard lawsuit remains a hot-button issue after the jury in Fairfax Virginia awarded Depp $10.35 million in damages.
The jury ultimately found Heard defamed him in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed, in which she called herself a survivor of domestic violence.
The jury also awarded Heard $2 million in her counter-charge that Depp and his representative defamed her after her initial claims against him.
Both Heard and Depp have said they will appeal the verdicts.