A digital prank on actress Amber Heard was briefly successful this weekend amid her ongoing defamation trial with ex-husband Johnny Depp. Someone changed Heard's name to "Amber Turd" on her IMDb page, and they even convinced Google to go along with the new name. The change was live for at least a few minutes on Saturday evening and it did not go unnoticed.
Someone tweaked the International Movie Database to display Heard's name as "Amber Turd" in several fields on Saturday evening. According to a report by TMZ it also showed up as the top Google result at the time. Screenshots show that Heard's name was changed and the name at the top of her bio was altered, but those who clicked on the link actually saw the correct information. TMZ published screenshots of the change at 8:07 p.m. ET and then posted an update saying it had been corrected at 8:22 p.m. ET, but it's not clear how long exactly the false name stayed up online.
Predictably, social media had a field day with the prank, especially in light of the allegation that Heard intentionally defecated in Depp's bed during their marriage. Many of the resulting memes were explicit, and some criticized them as insensitive considering Heard's allegations against Depp.
So far, representatives for Google, IMDb and its parent company Amazon have not responded to this prank publicly. Heard and Depp have not addressed it either. The two are avoiding the spotlight right now as their trial takes a week-long break.
The trial currently dominating headlines began with Depp suing Heard for defamation in 2019. The couple was married from 2015 to 2016 and suffered a messy divorce which included allegations of abuse on both sides. However, they ultimately settled the divorce out of court and did not pursue any criminal charges for spousal abuse.
In 2018, Heard wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post describing herself as a survivor of domestic violence and sexual abuse, and although she did not name Depp he was obviously the subject of the article. Depp is now suing Heard for defamation, claiming that this essay damaged his career and his reputation. To prove that the op-ed was defamatory, Depp's legal team must prove to some extent that it was false, which therefore makes this trial a relitigation of their marriage itself.
Fans have some impassioned opinions on this lawsuit and on Depp and Heard's relationship. The trial is scheduled to on through the end of May, at which point a jury will be tasked with deliberating the winner.