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CUNY Removes Article on Johnny Depp Lawyer

August 8, 2022

The City University of New York removed from its website an article (archived here) about a 2015 Hunter College graduate who worked on actor Johnny Depp’s legal team during Depp’s recent defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard. The gist of the deleted piece was that the CUNY alum, 29-year-old Yarelyn Mena, was the youngest lawyer on Depp’s team. But critics of the article quickly said it was insensitive to the issues central to the Depp case, namely Heard’s outstanding allegations of abuse by Depp. (Depp won his case following a jury trial that attracted much attention.)

“We understand the strong negative emotions this article elicited and apologize for publishing the item,” CUNY said in a statement. “We have removed it from our CUNYverse blog. The article was not meant to convey support for Mr. Depp, implicitly or otherwise, or to call into question any allegations that were made by Amber Heard. Domestic violence is a serious issue in our society and we regret any pain this article may have caused.”

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Colleen Flaherty

Colleen Flaherty, Reporter, covers faculty issues for Inside Higher Ed. Prior to joining the publication in 2012, Colleen was military editor at the Killeen Daily Herald, outside Fort Hood, Texas. Before that, she covered government and land use issues for the Greenwich Time and Hersam Acorn Newspapers in her home state of Connecticut. After graduating from McGill University in Montreal in 2005 with a degree in English literature, Colleen taught English and English as a second language in public schools in the Bronx, N.Y. She earned her M.S.Ed. from City University of New York Lehman College in 2008 as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program. 

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