Savannah Guthrie admits husband works for Johnny Depp’s team after welcoming attorneys on Today show

NBC anchor is married to Michael Feldman, a public relations consultant and one-time political adviser

Rachel Sharp
Wednesday 08 June 2022 17:57 BST

Savannah Guthrie interviewed Johnny Depp’s attorneys on the Today show on Wednesday morning

Savannah Guthrie has admitted that her husband is working as a consultant for Johnny Depp’s legal team after she welcomed his attorneys on her show for a tell-all interview.

Ms Guthrie spoke to Mr Depp’s attorneys Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew on Wednesday morning’s NBC Today show, one week after the jury handed down its verdict in his high-stakes defamation case against Amber Heard.

At the start of the interview, she made the disclosure about her husband’s ties to the lawyers before quickly moving on and launching into her questions about the trial.

“A quick disclosure, my husband has done consulting work for the Depp legal team, but not in connection with this interview,” she said.

Ms Guthrie is married to Michael Feldman, a public relations consultant and one-time Democratic political adviser who worked on Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign.

Prior to Wednesday’s interview, Ms Guthrie has made no mention of her husband’s ties to Mr Depp’s legal team, despite her previous coverage of the case.

Last Thursday, she welcomed Ms Heard’s attorney Elaine Bredehoft on The Today Show, interviewing her just hours after the jury delivered its verdict.

She also anchored NBC’s special coverage of the verdict when it was announced last Wednesday.

Ms Guthrie does not appear to have disclosed her husband’s connection to Mr Depp’s team in either of those incidents.

The Independent has reached out to NBCfor comment.

During Wednesday’s interview, Ms Vasquez and Mr Chew pushed back against claims made by Ms Heard’s attorney on last week’s show.

The attorneys dismissed Ms Bredehoft’s comments that social media had played a part in the verdict calling her claims “disappointing”.

“I dont think there’s any reason to believe the jurors violated their oath,” said Mr Chew.

Ms Vasquez added that the online obsession was “everywhere but they were admonished every single night and they had a tremendous amount of disrespect I think for the court and the process and they were doing the best they could”.

Mr Depp’s attorneys also called suggestions that the Pirates star or his team carried out a coordinated social media smear campaign against Ms Heard “utterly baseless” and “categorically false”.

“That is utterly baseless,” Mr Chew said, adding that the claims were “absolutely absurd” and that such allegations had been thrown out by the judge “very early in the case”.

Ms Vasquez added that the claims were “categorically false”.

Ms Bredehoft had told Ms Guthrie that the jurors could have been influenced by the “lopsided” social media frenzy around the case, which was skewed dramatically in Mr Depp’s favour.

“How can you not[be influenced]?” she asked.

“They went home every night. They have families. The families are on social media. We had a 10-day break in the middle because of the judicial conference. There’s no way they couldn’t have been influenced by it.”

Last week, Mr Depp won his defamation lawsuit against Ms Heard after a jury of seven determined that she had defamed him on all three counts in a 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post.

In the op-ed, Ms Heard described herself as a victim of domestic abuse and spoke of feeling “the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out”.

Jurors awarded Mr Depp $10m in compensatory damages and $5m in punitive damages, before Fairfax County Circuit Judge Penney Azcarate reduced the latter to the state’s legal limit of $350,000.

Ms Heard won one of her three counterclaims against her ex-husband, with the jury finding that Mr Depp – via his lawyer Adam Waldman – defamed her by branding her allegations about a 2016 incident “an ambush, a hoax”.

She was awarded $2m in compensatory damages but $0 in punitive damages, leaving the Aquaman actress $8.35m out of pocket.

Ms Heard described the verdict as “a setback” for women who speak up with allegations of abuse and said she plans to appeal.

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