Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Depp v Maxwell –Trial Media Coverage Differences

Matthew Steeples suggests those moaning that Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial should have been covered by the media in the same way as Johnny Depp’s libel suit do not understand the differences between the two cases; there is simply no “conspiracy” or “cover-up” going on here

In April 2014, whilst promoting the film Transcendence, Johnny Depp remarked: “People get famous now for I-don’t-know-what.” He was right and the level of interest in both his British and American court appearances and that of Ghislaine Maxwell’s 2021 trial have provided opportunity for goodness only knows how much of the dirty linen of famous faces to be grubbily bandied around.


Now, amongst others ‘blue ticked’ on Twitter Nick Adams, a “four-time best-selling author” and presidential appointee in the Trump administration, are rather stupidly asking: “Why didn’t the Ghislaine Maxwell trial have the same transparency as the Johnny Depp trial?”


Many others – including some you’d clearly expect better of – go further and ludicrously suggest it to be a “conspiracy” that Maxwell’s criminal trial wasn’t aired on television, whilst Depp’s civil trial of libel allegations has been. Quite rightly, however, this week AP News’s Angelo Fichera called out this “widely shared misinformation” for what it truly is – sheer claptrap and utter baloney.


As was also pointed out by the crusading author of Ghislaine Maxwell: An Unauthorized Biography Kirby Sommers on Twitter also, the Maxwell matter was held in a federal court and “federal courts do not allow cameras like some state courts do.” Depp’s civil suit, meanwhile, is taking place in a county circuit court and as, Fichera adds, “that court court does allow photo and video with a judge’s permission.”


Frankly, it is as simple as that and the “Conservative activist” who Fichera quoted who tweeted: “Sooooo, the Johnny Depp trial can be live streamed but the Maxwell trial can’t? Make that make sense” really ought to just learn to keep up.


Whilst many of us, myself included, would very much liked to have watched the mucky madam and daughter of a pension pot plundering and wartime murderer squirm before the cameras as she was convicted, the rules are the rules and there simply was no “gag order” in the case of Ghislaine Maxwell.


Pictured top – Though both now internationally known, the legal matters that this acclaimed actor and this notorious sex trafficking mucky madam are now forever linked to are being handled by the American legal system quite correctly. One was dealt with in a federal court whilst the other is a civil matter and that is exactly why media coverage – including most pertinently video footage – of these cases has been not-allowed and allowed respectively.



Kirby Sommers
Crusading author Kirby Sommers very accurately summed up the differences between the two cases in a tweet shared on 22nd April 2022. It pointed out the differences between “federal” and “civil” case and ended: “Please learn the difference.”
Dame Brigitte Gabriel
Self-anointed “quintessential example of a 21st American Dream story” and one-time news anchor ‘Dame’ Brigitte Gabriel – a “survivor of terrorism” and “NYT best-selling author” told her 435,800 Twitter followers: “The media live streams the Johnny Depp trial and not the Ghislaine Maxwell trial because they think we’re stupid” on 23rd April. Clearly, ‘Dame’ Brigitte ought to be sent to a school in fact checking and learn she’s been duped by what Donald Trump might term “fake news, fake news.”
Shane Hazel
Equally, 2022 Republican candidate for Governor of Georgia Shane Hazel is another fine example of a boorish berk who doesn’t get it. He tweeted: “When the news covers Johnny Depp 24/7 but didn’t say shit about Epstein & Ghislaine Maxwell you can be sure it’s because American billionaires are molesting kids” on 22nd April. Mr Hazel has an astonishing 38,900 followers; followers he’s clearly misleading whilst at the same time running for high office.
Trial differences
Those claiming to be “kept in the dark” about the criminal trial of the late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s one-time lover and co-conspirator in sex trafficking whilst banging on about the live-streaming of an actor’s libel action simply do not understand that there is no conspiracy going on in terms of how media coverage of such matters is handled.
Tweets 1
Twitter users have gone utterly bonkers about this, let’s be frank, non-issue. Live-streaming is allowed in some courts and it is not in others and those screaming “conspiracy” and “cover-up” from the rooftops on this subject simply need to accept that there was no “gag-order” in the case of media coverage of the pension pot plunderer’s daughter’s December 2021 trial in New York.
Tweet 5
Continuing, the anything but rational Twitterati claimed “money doesn’t talk, it shuts everyone up” whilst others suggested “LMAO” of how the French born associate of amongst others Jean-Luc Brunel, the Duke of York and Harvey Weinstein “couldn’t be recorded” whilst the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’s’ legal case can.
Tweet 4
Amongst words used of the two matters were “distractions” and “should tell you all you need to know.” Wallaby killer Russell Brand even got a mention.
Tweet 3
The very same conspiracy theorists claimed also a “media blackout” in the 2021 case whilst the 2022 one “live-streamed for all to see.” One argued: “You can clearly see the media’s agenda here” and another added: “I know which one I care about the most.” Others brought up their thoughts on Ukraine, Hunter Biden and his father, 46th President of the United States of America Joe Biden. Here are people who believe the current coverage is “a joke” yet here also are people who cannot accept that the mucky madam’s trial was heard in a federal court in New York – a place where cameras simply are not allowed to be present.
Tweets 2
“Something stinks” and “hush hush” claimed one Scot named Gordon Cameron of what he and countless others on social media believe to be a case lacking in transparency of Maxwell’s trial. He and those like him would do better to ask why none of those that the decidedly deviant mucky madam supplied her victims to have yet been brought before the justice system. As the cook and football club owner Delia Smith once slurred (whilst drunk admittedly): “Come on, let’s be ‘avin ya.”
The libel case brought by the star of ‘The Tourist’ against his ex-wife Amber Heard has descended into moments of comedy and mirth. It is completely the antithesis of the trial of the one-time lover of Prince Andrew – a trial in which victims of sex trafficking and abuse by the powerful and the privileged was very clearly highlighted. Shamefully, however, none of those other powerful and privileged individuals have yet been brought to book. With sentencing due on the 28th June in the Maxwell case, one can only hope that justice will finally be served on the other evil parties who’ve still to this day remained under the radar.
Matthew Steeples
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.



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