UPDATE, 1:58 PM PT: Johnny Depp may be swaggering about to his fanbase about moving forward now a week after winning his multi-million defamation trial against Amber Heard, but the Aquaman star is taking a very different direction.
“As Johnny Depp says he’s ‘moving forward,’ women’s rights are moving backward,” a spokesperson for Heard said today after her ex-husband and Run Diary co-star took to social media to thank his fans in print and video for sticking with the much-accused actor. “The verdict’s message to victims of domestic violence is…be afraid to stand up and speak out,” Heard’s team added, putting the potential consequences in the starkest and bluntest terms.
What Depp’s next reaction is remains to be seen. Succeeding on just one of her counterclaims and awarded $2 million in the contradictory June 1 verdict, Heard is planning to appeal the ruling of $15 million (reduced to $10.4 million) in damages to Depp.
PREVIOUSLY, 9:13 AM PT: Less than a week after winning his multimillion-dollar defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard, Johnny Depp on Tuesday offered a glimpse of the court proceedings from his perspective — literally and figuratively.
“We did the right thing together, all because you cared,” the former Pirates of the Caribbean star wrote to his hardcore fan base today in a posting on social media. Along with words of praise to his “most treasured, loyal and unwavering supporters,” he posted a video shot from inside his car showing him waving to fans outside the Virginia courthouse that served as ground zero of the contentious and often-explicit six-week trial.
First dropped on Tik Tok, the deftly edited footage, accompanied by a reggae-beat soundtrack, also shows Depp onstage in the UK performing with Jeff Beck.
When the jury went into deliberations May 27, Depp leapt across the pond for a short stint backing up guitar virtuoso Beck on his current tour. As a result, to the outrage and dismay of many, Depp did not return to the U.S. before the June 1 verdict was read.
Attorneys for Aquaman star Heard have said that they have plans to appeal the ruling by the seven-person Virginia jury, which found in favor of all of Depp’s defamation claims and awarded him more than $10 million in damages. Heard succeeded on one of her counterclaim points and was awarded $2 million.
Even before the trial, Depp’s voluminous, self-described “Deppford Wives” fan base vehemently supported his side while attacking Heard online. Hundreds of Depp fans showed up daily in front of the Fairfax County Courthouse to offer support to Depp, who often interacted with the crowd while arriving to and departing from the venue.
Check out his video and message on Instagram below:
Depp sued Heard for $50 million in March 2019 over a late 2018 Washington Post op-ed the actress wrote about becoming “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” Though the ACLU-crafted article in the Jeff Bezos-owned newspaper never mentioned Depp by name, he claimed it “devastated” his already waning career. Depp also insisted that he was in fact the one who was abused in the relationship.
Having failed to get the case dismissed or moved out of Virginia, Heard in the summer of 2020 countersued for $100 million. That action came months before Depp’s UK libel case against The Sun tabloid for calling him a “wife beater” proved dramatically unsuccessful in November 2020.
Soon after the reading of the verdict last week, both Depp and Heard put out statements directly and online. A self-described “heartbroken” Heard, who was in the courtroom for the decision, said the “disappointment I feel today is beyond words.” On the other hand, Depp gleefully proclaimed that “the jury gave me my life back.” Adding” “Truth never perishes.”