Court stenographer Judy Bellinger opens up on viral video with Johnny Depp (Image via The Law & Crime Network, and Izze1122/Twitter)

"He hugged me and thanked me": Court stenographer Judy clears the air regarding viral Johnny Depp 'partying' video

Abhirup Sengupta

On Saturday, June 2, the stenographer named Judy Bellinger appeared in an interview with The Law & Crime Network to address the recent allegations of her partying with Johnny Depp. Judy was present at the Fairfax County Courthouse trial between Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard. In the trial, she was also given a shoutout by the presiding Judge Penny Azcarate, who said:

"I also appreciate Judy, 'cause she's a rockstar."

However, following the trial's verdict, which was primarily in favor of Depp, a video featuring Judy and the actor went viral on social media. The video featured the stenographer embracing and interacting with Depp before she proceeded to interact with others. Jessica Reed Kraus reposted the clip on her Instagram story.

Johnny Depp invited Judy the stenographer to his lil after party awwwww

At the time, netizens were divided by Bellinger's interaction with Depp. While some pro-Depp users praised the actor's friendship with the stenographer, others speculated on the merits of the trial. As the video originated before the 58-year-old actor left for London before the trial's verdict, a few alleged that the ruling could have been biased towards Johnny Depp.

What did Judy Bellinger say about the viral video featuring herself and Johnny Depp?


In the exclusive interview, Judy Bellinger explained that after the closing arguments on May 27, she was on break till 5:30 PM EST. According to the stenographer, she ran errands in the break and could not return to the courthouse in time. However, Judy told Judge Azcarate that she would retrieve her recording equipment and then get the transcription of the courtroom discussions out by the weekend.

Judy Bellinger further elaborated how Johnny Depp's attorneys, Ben Chew and Rebecca MacDowell, disconnected the device and brought it to her. In the interview, Bellinger stated how owing to some confusion, the lawyers asked her to come to their hotel to get the equipment. This is where she met Depp and his legal team, as seen in the viral video.

The stenographer also disclosed:

"I guess Johnny (Depp) had told them (that) he would really like to meet the court reporter, which was like, shocking to me. 'I'm like 'I'm just the court reporter."

According to Bellinger, the attorneys and Depp waited for her at the hotel's hospitality room, where she had to get her equipment. She said:

"I was in there for probably less than 10 minutes, and he just hugged me and thanked me again. And I had a couple of other people there, and I got my equipment, and I came out."

Later, Judy Bellinger also denied that she was ever at any after-party with the actor as she had a 50 minutes drive back to her home.


It must be noted that the claims of her being an employee with the Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia is incorrect. Bellinger is currently associated with the private firm Planet Depos, LLC.

In the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, the Virginia-based courthouse outsourced the work of the stenographer and court reporter to a private firm. Thus, Bellinger's alleged fraternization with Johnny Depp and his legal team is not ethically wrong, contrary to many suggested online.

Edited by Sayati Das
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