- Paul Glenn
- Entertainment Correspondent – BBC News
26 minutes ago
Hollywood star Johnny Depp said he would not allow the legal battles with his ex-wife Amber Heard to affect him, calling for him not to be judged based on the case that sparked widespread global controversy.
Depp spoke to the BBC while attending the Cannes Film Festival, which opened with the French film “Jeanne de Paris”, in which Depp embodies the role of King Louis XV, in his strong comeback.
This is his first major role since being dropped from the Fantastic Beasts film series, following a defamation case in the High Court over an article in The Sun newspaper that alleged he had assaulted Heard.
Deeb lost the case, with the judge ruling that the newspaper article was “largely true”.
Last year, a US jury ruled that Heard defamed the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star in an article in which she described herself as a victim of domestic violence.
This came after a British court ruled that an earlier article describing him as a “wife beater” was true.
Interviewed by Tom Brooke for the BBC’s Talking Movies programme, Depp said: “Going back is strange because I haven’t gone anywhere.”
“Maybe people made sure that I wasn’t looked upon favorably, because of the strong press, because of the strong media, whatever the reasons.”
During two court cases, there were conflicting accounts of Depp and Heard’s five-year relationship, with each accusing the other of misconduct and violence.
Depp has strongly denied his ex-wife’s allegations that he subjected her to emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
After losing a libel case in 2022 over an article she wrote for the Washington Post, Heard said she had lost faith in the US justice system.
Depp told the BBC that people should look at their family members before they judge him.
He added, “I would suggest to people that before they start pointing fingers and passing judgment on others they have no idea about, I would advise everyone to take a day off work, stay home, and start investigating everyone in their family.” .
“Start with your dad! Look back! My dad was always such a wonderful man, was he? Look at your uncles, look at your brothers! Look around you first before you start passing judgment on someone you have no idea what they’re going through, who they are.” .
At the height of his courtroom battles with his ex-wife, Depp’s film future seemed in jeopardy.
But before the premiere of his latest film in Cannes on Tuesday, he was met by a large number of fans who had the chance to autograph and take selfies with him.
The film “Jeanne du Barry” tells the story of a woman, played by director Maywen, who was born into a poor family and became the last mistress of the French king.
The film received a warm welcome, but the critics’ assessment was more lukewarm, with some saying that he seemed uncomfortable in the role he embodied.
His presence at Cannes and the participation of his new film were criticized by Heard’s supporters, and the hashtag #CannesYouNot spread on social media.
But festival director Thierry Frémaux vigorously defended his choice of film, and many welcomed Depp’s return.
Asked about being a controversial figure, Depp said he has been controversial throughout his career.
“I was probably more controversial many years ago than now, and whatever it was, that’s over now,” he added.
“I certainly wouldn’t let it affect anything I’ve done before, and anything I’m doing now or going to do, it just doesn’t exist for me,” he added.
Last summer, a jury ruled that Heard had defamed Depp in an article in The Washington Post, after a six-week trial in Virginia.
The jury awarded him $15 million (equivalent to £12 million) in settlement and damages for moral damage.
The “Aquaman” star sued for $1 million (£820,000) for defamation; But she said it was “not some kind of concession”.
“Even if my appeal to the United States had been successful, the best outcome might have been a retrial, and I simply cannot fight that.”
Heard added that she had lost faith in the US justice system.