Amber's Angels: How Wootton, Murdoch, Musk and Nichol Played A Hand In Heard's Defense
Dan Wootton, the journalist responsible for multiple hit pieces over the years, is under fire for allegations involving catfishing, bribes and sexual requests, and it all ties in with Depp vs Heard
If you’re patient enough, you’ll see that the bad guys always end up exposing themselves.
If you’ve been paying attention, perhaps you’ve noticed how the media is working strategically to frazzle our perception of a trial we witnessed between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard last year. Mainstream outlets are unfolding a calculated campaign to repair and reclaim Heard’s reputation by painting her as an unrequited victim of abuse and him as an abuser who “got away with it.” The Netflix documentary is the latest example; It offered nothing new or compelling — in fact it was decidedly boring — but showed exactly where the narrative is headed, to shift public opinion by planting doubt through big media productions and news conglomerates that are all influenced by the billionaires Heard is still conveniently tied to.
Remember Dan Wootton? The British and New Zealand broadcaster/”journalist” who said the Depp trial was a “farce designed to ruin Amber Heard’s life?” The mouthpiece who called JK Rowling a “hypocrite” in The Sun in 2018 for backing Depp despite claiming to be a proponent of the #MeToo movement? The writer behind the April 2022 Daily Mail hit piece that called Johnny a “pathetic excuse of a man,” who was “not a victim of cancel culture,” but instead “a proponent of it,” set out to “ruin his ex-wife” no matter what the cost.
Well. He’s been exposed as a raging hypocrite.
Here’s a breakdown of how it all connects.
“Ruining his ex-wife Amber Heard is his goal, no matter how much it costs, how many lives it destroys and how much it taints his own reputation forever more.” - Dan Wootton Via Daily Mail
Wootton's biggest public crucification of Depp was the article he published in The Sun, describing Depp as a "wife beater," which resulted in Depp filing a lawsuit against him. While Johnny lost the case in the U.K. (likely due to suspicious 'behind the scenes' deals with a well-connected U.K. judge), it seems karma is finally catching up to Dan Wootton.
After spending years fighting for Heard’s reputation on social media and in the press, Amber’s hardest working justice warrior is now being forced to defend his own reputation, one that’s hanging by a thread after several male colleagues came forward in June with a sea of allegations exposing Wootton as a sexual predator.
The heavy accusations came shortly after Wootton's ex-boyfriend, Alex Turby, found a series of disturbing emails on Wootton's hard drive under the pseudonym "Martin Branning." Turby uncovered proof that his partner was secretly living a double life, allegedly creating fake online identities to bribe male coworkers to send him explicit sexual content, all under the guise of a mundane screen name.
Disgusted, Turby took his findings to Twitter and published a series of tweets that garnered over 15 million views. He said he became suspicious of Wootton after discovering that his ex had unauthorized access to his email and social media accounts. He then noticed his Gmail account was being accessed from an IP address belonging to the News of the World office, Wootton's workplace at the time.
A recap of how it all unfolded
"The MSN conversation [was] between the colleague's partner and someone called 'Martin Branning' whereby an arrangement was indeed made to make the sex tape in secret, without his colleague's knowledge, in exchange for £500. "I knew instantly that 'Martin Branning' was Dan," Turby wrote.
Soon after Turby's hard drive discovery, individuals with links to the Sun (Wooton's former employer) started coming forward, accusing the broadcaster of offering them large amounts of money in exchange for explicit sexual favors. Reports claim these individuals were approached online by a man posing as a talent agent named "Martin Branning." According to Byline Times, Wootton was offering sums of up to $30,000 "tax-free" to his targets.
“Byline Times has extensive evidence to show that, between June 2008 and 2018, Wootton – who is gay – posed as a fictitious showbusiness agent called “Martin Branning” to offer sums of up to £30,000 “tax free” to his targets, many of whom were heterosexual men.
Among them are a very senior executive at Rupert Murdoch’s News UK alongside at least six other staff at The Sun newspaper – one with close links to News UK CEO Rebekah Brooks – friends, Facebook associates and users of the dating apps Grindr and Gaydar.
Two of the targets made criminal complaints to Scotland Yard without knowing the real identity of their tormentor with detectives aware of the activities of Branning – whose name is a portmanteau of EastEnders characters Martin Fowler and Max Branning – since 2019.
Our journalists handed a 28-page dossier of evidence to the Metropolitan Police for investigation on 20 June 2023, however last week criminal claims started to emerge on social media, with the posts rapidly attracting more than 18 million views, causing Wootton to trend on Twitter for several days.”
- Byline Times
Claims alleged that Wootton was paying male porn stars to secretly record themselves having sex with the men he was targeting. He has also been accused of bullying and harassment.
“GB News presenter Dan Wootton paid adult film stars to meet gay men he had catfished in order to secretly record them having sex, Byline Times can reveal.
Wootton ‘rented’ the Facebook profiles of at least three different male porn performers for up to £500 a time, before posing as them and tricking his targets into meetings to be covertly filmed with cameras he supplied.
At least one of these meetings took place in a hotel paid for by Rupert Murdoch’s The Sunnewspaper – of which Wootton was associate editor at the time.
The journalist also charged a £1,500 porn star’s fee for the ‘private work’ to his then employers News UK – disguised as payment to a ‘contact’ for a front-page story about Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.”
Wootton Cries “Witch Hunt”
Wootton responded to the claims by denying any criminal activity. He addressed the allegations in a six-minute monologue on G.B. News, calling himself "a victim of a smear campaign" constructed by "nefarious players."
"These past few days, I have been the target of a smear campaign by nefarious players with an axe to grind. I, like all fallible human beings, have made errors of judgment in the past. But the criminal allegations being made against me are simply untrue".
Wootton claimed the allegations were all part of a "witch hunt" to take down him and his right-leaning network, G.B. News.
"There are dark forces out to try and take this brilliant channel down," Wootton said.
Lily Allen Responds
“Dan Wootton last night claimed he is a victim of a smear campaign by nefarious players with an axe to grind, that his accuser is running a campaign to destroy his life. The irony is not lost on me, maybe now Dan can begin to understand what it felt like. I actually wish him well, I hope that he comes out the other side of whatever it is that he is facing, and that eventually it leads him to a place of happiness, peace and truth.
Following on from my tweet yesterday, I see that some think I was blaming Dan Wooton for my dependencies. I don't expect people to understand the pain associated with being harassed in the very public way that i was for a good 15 years. but just because you can't understand it, it doesn't mean that it didn't happen, it did. Peaches Geldof, Amy Winehouse and Caroline Flack were all bullied and abused, subjected to the same kind of harassment that I and many others were, and at the same time. It was the culture back then, we were fair game, because we were female, young, articulate, well paid, brilliant at our jobs, vulnerable and relatable, we all wore our hearts on our sleeves and spoke our truths. And for that we needed to be destroyed. I can't speak for the women above and neither can they, for obvious reasons, but I know how trapped I felt, how lonely and isolated I was, how scared I was, how unfair and desperate it all felt and how substances and alcohol felt like the only way.”
What Does This Mean For Wootton’s career?
When the shocking allegations came out in June, the public started pressuring the Daily Mail to take action— demanding they not only investigate Wootton but cut him loose entirely. His twice-weekly column has not appeared since the end of June. MailOnline has paused his column while they look into these claims.
In July, MailOnline's publisher, DMG Media, and The Sun (where Wootton worked from 2007-2021) released statements announcing they were “looking into” the allegations.
On August 4th, DMG Media Released A Statement:
“We are continuing to consider a series of allegations which Dan Wootton — who has written columns for MailOnline since 2021 as one of several outside freelance contributors — has strenuously denied.”
“The allegations are obviously serious but also complex and historic and there is an independent investigation under way at the media group which employed him during the relevant period. In the meantime, his freelance column with MailOnline has been paused.” -VIA MailOnline
Despite the public backlash, Wootton is still appearing on air at G.B. News as a news presenter. Prior to these accusations, Wootton was actively taunting Depp supporters on Twitter, warning them that he would not be "bullied into silence." Eve Barlow (Aka Amber's lap dog) was seen responding to the tweet with a fire-emblazoned heart.
Wootton Attacks JK Rowling For Her Support of Depp
When JK Rowling refused to denounce or fire Johnny Depp from her latest film, Wootton blasted her in several articles for defending Depp when everyone else was cutting ties with him. He insinuated that her stance was a direct insult to the MeToo movement. That she could not be considered a feminist while backing a violent abuser.
“If Rowling is the supporter of women’s rights she claims, has she been blinded by a personal friendship with Depp?
After all, she coveted him enough to have spent £22 million buying his old yacht, which he had ironically re-named for Heard.
Rowling is a powerful figure, who likes to slaughter anyone who dares publicly question her morals or decisions.
But today two brave members of Me Too/Time’s Up – both victims of Harvey Weinstein – go public to question her decision.”
- Wootton Via The Sun
“The column - headlined by my former newspaper on its website as, 'Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be 'genuinely happy' to cast wife beater Johnny Depp in film? - posed a number of questions to the Potter creator, including: 'You admitted last year there were 'legitimate questions' about Depp's casting. What were these and how did you overcome them?'
Both Amber and I offered to meet with Rowling separately to explain what we knew about Depp's behaviour, but she rebuffed our attempts to reach out.
It was obvious to me that her close friendship with Depp – an actor who she idolised – had overshadowed principle on this issue, disappointing for someone who is undoubtedly an advocate for female victims of abuse, given she is one herself.
Following Depp's court humiliation, a chastened Rowling was finally forced to remove the actor from her Fantastic Beasts film franchise, which she should have done in the first place.
Despite that somewhat chequered history, I have become convinced these past two years that Rowling is one of our greatest Britons – and that verdict has nothing to do with child wizards in round spectacles.
Rather, it's because Rowling has been prepared to give up virtually everything she previously prized – including being a pin-up for the entertainment establishment – to stand up for the rights of women everywhere, with a nuanced but supportive view of the trans community that just so happens to go against the liberal orthodoxy.”
- Wootton Via Daily Mail
Judge In Depp’s UK Trial Connected to Wootton
It gets better.
The Sun (the newspaper Wootton wrote for from 2007 to 2021 — responsible for hit pieces against Depp) is published by the News Group Newspapers division of News U.K. — a wholly owned subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. The Sun is under the News Corp umbrella.
Wootton worked at TalkRadio, owned by Wireless Group, a subsidiary of News Corp. Wootton hosted a weekly TalkRadio show called Dan's Dilemmas.
Judge Nicol's son, Robert Palmer, was also part of the TalkRadio roster of personalities during the time Wootton was employed there. Robert Palmer was listed as Executive Director of Advocacy Organization Tax Justice U.K. and made multiple appearances on TalkRadio.
The public started connecting these dots once a detailed flow chart was published breaking down Judge Nicol's connections to various arms in media. It raised new questions about Nicol's neutrality in the Depp case after it was exposed that his son was a part of TalkRadio while Dan Wootton was employed by the company. This connection, which was swiftly deleted from Palmer’s Twitter account following its exposure, raised new questions about impartiality in the trial.
While working for The Sun, Wootton published an article calling Johnny Depp as a "wife beater." In response, Depp filed a lawsuit.
Johnny brought libel proceedings against Wootton and News Group Newspapers in July 2020, in the case of Depp v News Group Newspapers Ltd., after The Sun described Depp as a "wife beater." The court ruled in favor of News Group. Judge Nicol "found that assaults were proven to the civil standard of 12 of the 14 incidents reported by Amber Head and concluded that The Sun's article was accurate based on the balance of probabilities."
Wootton bragged about winning the case on Twitter and in his April 2022 Daily Mail article.
"After dragging my ass through the High Court for two years, which resulted in a humiliating loss for him and complete vindication for me, I genuinely intended to never talk about Johnny Depp again." -Wooton via
Was Robert Palmer One of Wootton’s Victims?
Re: The Victims: “Among them are a very senior executive at Rupert Murdoch’s News UK alongside at least six other staff at The Sun newspaper – one with close links to News UK CEO Rebekah Brooks – friends, Facebook associates and users of the dating apps Grindr and Gaydar.” - Byline Times
Because we know Judge Nicol's son, Robert Palmer, worked at TalkRadio during the time Dan Wootton was employed there, is it possible that Robert might have been a victim of Wootton's catfish bribes? Several of Wootton's coworkers came forward as victims, so the theory certainly tracks.
Was Judge Nicol protecting his son? (Bear in mind that this was his last trial before retiring immediately following the Depp verdict).
Petition to Investigate Judge Nicol
Once online sleuths uncovered these points of corruption, they took to Twitter to publicly question Judge Nicol's intentions, which they argued was an apparent conflict of interest in the case. Many felt Judge Nicol shouldn't have been allowed to judge a trial between Depp and The Sun, given that his son worked around Wootton, whom Johnny was suing.
Supporters eventually created a Change.org petition demanding a fair trial — asking for an official review of what (they believed) was judicial misconduct by Judge Nicol in the Johnny Depp libel case.
Special Treatment In Court
Besides other obvious connections, Judge Nicol gave Amber Heard special treatment throughout the trial. He allowed her to sit in court as a witness, watching and hearing the proceedings and evidence (and subsequently writing addendums to her witness statements once the trial was underway), which would never have been allowed in the United States.
Further proof that inappropriate connections based on personal conflicts should have recused Nichol from the case.
Web Of Connections Continued
Judge Nicol coauthored a book on media law with Geoffrey Robertson, who was married to author Kathy Lette —a long-time friend of Judge Nicol's wife Camilla Palmer, a judicial mediator and hardcore feminist. Camilla Palmer also happens to be good friends with Jen Robinson, who was Amber Heard's lawyer at the libel trial. Jen took Amber to a dinner party at Kathy Lette's home during the U.K. trial, thrown specifically as a show of support for Amber.
Judge Nicol, Geoffrey Robertson, and Jen Robinson have all worked at the same law practice; the latter still do.
The media coined “Amber's Angels" to refer to the high-profile girl gang supporting Heard during the U.K. trial. Kathy Lette supported Amber behind the scenes. She hosted the star studded dinner party to "boost" her confidence during the trial. Amber was the guest of honor that night.
"These women wanted to support Amber, and they wanted to throw her a nice dinner to give her a boost."
Tale of Two Billionaires: Links to Musk & Murdoch
Despite the texts used in court showing Amber admitting she used Elon to "fill space" after her split with Depp and that was "never in love with Musk," Musk never slandered Heard publicly.
He responded to a tweet by Lex Fridman wishing both Depp and Heard the best. "I hope they both move on. At their best, they are each incredible," Musk tweeted.
But the roots of this affair, and Musk's connections to powerful players in media is hardly a footnote in this layered saga.
The theory being: Amber initially had Elon under her thumb because of rumored blackmail; now, he is permanently tied to her because of the alleged embryo baby that was born just before the trial began.
So, to sum it up: Amber is tied to Elon — Elon to Murdoch — Murdoch to Wootton — Wootton to Nichols — Nichols to Amber.
Elon Musk with Rupert & Elisabeth Murdoch at this year’s Super Bowl
Which makes everything that's happened since increasingly suspicious. Take this recent decision on the dog smuggling case in Australia. Officials announced on August 23rd they would not be prosecuting Heard for allegedly lying to a court about how her Yorkshire terriers were smuggled into Australia 8 years ago.
"Prosecution action will not be taken against … Heard over allegations related to her sentencing for the illegal import of two dogs," Australia's Department of Agriculture said in a statement.
Had they moved forward and gone to trial, it would likely open up that can of worms.
Now, imagine how different things would have been if Wootton had been exposed for his sexual crimes earlier, during the Depp vs. Heard UK trial. One of Amber's most loyal supporters exposed for predatory behavior in the workplace (owned by Murdoch) would have undoubtably raised a red flag about her associations.
Timing Is Everything
If there is anything we can be sure of, it’s that nothing in these high profile legal battles is coincidence.
Consider the timing of the Australian Department of Agriculture's decision came right after the Netflix DEPP V HEARD documentary aired in the U.S. and Australia. The documentary, while subtly framed, presents a Pro-Heard stance — blaming the court of public opinion for influencing the US verdict, but failing to mention anything about how Amber's close relationships with key players in the U.K. trial heavily influenced THAT verdict.
But, that’s what we get when we let big budget productions decide our villains for us based on heavily funded billionaires bias.
Later this week: A deeper look into the details surrounding the mysterious death of Obama’s chef + concluding chapter in Depp vs. Heard.