Who is Yarelyn Mena? City University of New York removes profile of attorney who worked on Johnny Depp’s legal team
The City University of New York has deleted the profile of Yarelyn Mena, who participated in the recent Johnny Depp defamation lawsuit. CUNY is New York’s public university system under which several other colleges fall.
The article was deleted after the institution faced a huge backlash from critics who claimed the university supported the actor accused of domestic violence. The university has since issued a statement defending its actions by removing the article.
Yarelyn Mena was the youngest lawyer to join the team at Brown Rudnick LLP representing the Pirates of the Caribbean actor. The actor has been involved in a long legal battle against his ex-wife and actress Amber Heard. The 29-year-old attorney helped Depp win a $10.35 million verdict.
CUNY posted the profile with a photo of Yarelyn Mena sitting next to Johnny Depp during his trial. The institution praised Mena for her:
“Extensive legal research, contributions to draft motion, and preparation of witnesses and attorneys.”
However, netizens “cancelled” the article, arguing that the educational institution was supporting an actor accused of domestic violence. On August 3, the CUNY website released a statement apologizing for publishing the article.
They also added that they had no intention of “conveying any support for Mr. Depp”. Their statement said:
“We understand the strong negative emotions caused by this article and we apologize for publishing this article. We have removed it from our CUNYverse blog. The article was not intended to express support for Mr. Depp, implicitly or otherwise, nor to question Amber Heard’s claims.Domestic violence is a serious problem in our society and we regret any pain this article may have caused.
Who is Yarelyn Mena?
The Fordham Law School graduate is the daughter of two immigrants from the Dominican Republic.
Yarelyn Mena joined Brown Rudnick LLP in October 2019. The Latina received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2015 from Hunter College, where she studied psychology. While at Fordham University Law School, she was one of 25 county students chosen to serve on the National Hispanic Bar.
Mena specializes in intellectual property law and commercial law.
While explaining her responsibilities regarding Depp’s sensational court battle, she explained in the CUNY article that she:
“worked with the team on the opening and closing and was the fact master of all evidence. If anyone needed photos or text messages, I tracked them down and helped everyone as I went.
After CUNY deleted the post praising Mena, Brooklyn College professor KC Johnson took to Twitter, lambasting CUNY’s decision.
In another tweet, Johnson also explained how CUNY’s deletion of the article could be a representation of their disbelief at the jury’s verdict in the Depp-Heard trial. Hoeg Law Firm attorney Richard Hoeg also expressed his disappointment with CUNY and said, “It’s pretty unbelievable.”