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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: Uphill battle to rebuild images

Grace Spencer

July 2nd, 2022

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s Battle

The six-week trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has been seen by millions. While the trial is a battle on its own, Depp and Heards battle to rebuild their images and careers is the biggest battle of all. 

The court appears to be in favor of Depp as of Wednesday, when their verdict, regarding Depp’s statement, saying that Heard defamed him by accusing him of abusing her, clearly was opposing Heard. 

According to Eric Dezenhall, a crisis mitigator in Washington, some people believe that she abused the movement, #MeToo. “Depp has a hill to climb. Heard has a mountain to climb,” said Dezenhall. He also states that if Depp takes it slow, and realizes that his career may not get to where it once was, he should have a solid job as an actor. 

At the end of the trial, in this lose-lose situation, the jury came to a verdict, which was handed down in Fairfax County, Virginia. They found that Depp was defamed by three statements in an op-ed piece, written by Heard in 2018. Depp was awarded $10 million. The jury also awarded Heard $2 million, after they concluded she had been defamed by one of Depp’s lawyers.


Some believe that defamation may have not been the right way to go. Those who have worked in cases like these, think that Depp suing Heard may have been a last chance as saving his reputation after losing the London libel lawsuit against The Sun. David Glass, a Los Angeles family attorney, said, “I think the defamation case was a Hail Mary.” 

After their 15 month marriage, Depp sued Heard for $50 million, when she said she was “a public figure representing domestic abuse”, in an op-ed for The Washington Post. It was published just two years after making accusations against him. Heard then sued Depp for $100 million, saying he was defaming her due to the accusations regarding Adam Waldman. Depp testified saying, “I lost nothing less than everything.”

Heard testified saying, “Now as I stand here today, I can’t have a career. I hope to get my voice back. That’s all I want.”

It is hard for a verdict to erase the accusations being made in a courtroom. Despite the fact that Depp was accused of physically and sexually asbusing Heard, his fans stuck with him. Oftentimes, Depp’s fans would be seen camping overnight in hopes to attend the proceedings

It is apparent that both Depp and Heard will need rehabilitation after the trial. 

When the jury came to a verdict, Heard was in the room and plans to appeal. While Depp was not in the room, he said, “the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.”

Danny Deraney, who has done crisis PR for Hollywood’s #MeToo accusers believed it will be easier for Depp to get back into the entertainment industry. Deraney said that it is more likely for men to find work again after something like this rather than a woman because it is easier for men to be forgiven. 

Daniell Lindermann believes that Depp’s career had already been affected, even if Heard did not make the accusations she did. Lindermann is an associate professor of sociology at Lehigh University. “But I don’t think he’s canceled, “ Lindemann also states. 

His career may not be the same in the United States, but in Asian and European markets, it should be as severe. 

Both Heard and Depp face backlash since the trial. Heard said that Depp helped campaigns to get her fired from L’Oreal and her character Mera in “Aquaman”. Depp was replaced by Gellert Grindelwald for “Fantastic Beasts 3” and still does not know his future for “Pirates of the Caribbean”. 

Dior is still using Depp to promote their men’s fragrance, Sauvage, and they have not made any comments about the abuse allegations. 

Brett Ward, a family law specialist in New York, says it could take up to two years to know if this case will affect his career as an actor. “And if he doesn’t? I think he’s made a terrible mistake because most people aren’t going to remember his rather distinguished Hollywood career. They’re going to remember this trial. It’s like O.J. Simpson. People know him more for what happened in that trial than they did for his football career,” Ward said. 

Dezenhall couldn’t disagree more, saying that the risk of defamation lawsuits no longer applies because they are too hard to win. He wrote, “If you’re already covered in muck that is suspended online forever, what’s a little more muck if your life has been ruined?”

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