In 2019, Depp also sued Heard for $50 million in the U.S., claiming that she defamed him in a 2018 opinion piece Heard wrote for The Washington Post. The piece did not name Depp; it was titled: “I spoke up against sexual violence − and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.”
Both testified in the trial, which was televised, and shared graphic details of their abuse claims. Heard countersued, also for defamation, over comments made by Depp’s former lawyer Adam Waldman, who had previously called Heard’s abuse allegations a “hoax.”
The jury ruled that both had defamed each other, awarding Depp $10 million in damages and Heard $2 million. In December, they reached a settlement.
Depp said he was “truly humbled” that the “jury gave me my life back” in a statement to USA TODAY following the verdict.
Some news outlets raised concerns about the verdict, given that the jury, composed of five men and two women, wasn’t sequestered and may have been influenced by the volume of anti-Heard posts on social media.
Where does Johnny Depp’s career go from here?
Depp’s court cases have resulted in several career setbacks. In 2020, Depp was dropped from the “Fantastic Beasts” film series several days after he lost his suit against The Sun. Also in 2020, The Hollywood Reporter published a story on Depp titled “‘He’s Radioactive’: Inside Johnny Depp’s Self-Made Implosion” and cited unnamed studio executives who described Depp as a liability.
However, Depp’s highly publicized U.S. trial seems to have rehabilitated his public image somewhat. In 2022, Depp appeared as the MTV Video Music Awards mascot, the moonperson. In November, he walked in Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty fashion show. Last week, Variety reported that Dior signed a $20 million deal with Depp, which the outlet described as “the biggest men’s fragrance pact ever.”
Is Johnny Depp’s career kaput?Maybe, but don’t underestimate the devotion of his fans
The future of Depp’s film career, however, remains uncertain. It’s currently unclear when, or even if, Depp’s new film “Jeanne du Barry” will be released in the U.S., and Cannes has been accused of being too welcoming of men accused of misconduct. Last week, acclaimed French actress Adèle Haenel wrote an open letter saying Cannes and other pillars of the film industry were “ready to do anything to defend their rapist chiefs.”
The reaction this week to his new film will likely help signal what lies ahead for Depp’s career.
Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff, Naledi Ushe and Maria Puente, USA TODAY, and Jake Coyle and Pan Pylas, The Associated Press