Johnny Depp plots career revival after court win over Amber Heard
The announcement came amid fallout from the widely publicized and closely watched six-week trial, in which Depp alleged that Heard, 36, defamed him by calling herself a survivor of domestic violence in a Washington Post Editorial 2018. The jury awarded Depp $15 million in damages and heard $2 million – for defamatory remarks made by Depp’s attorney, Adam Waldman, in a Daily Mail article. Legal experts called the verdict a watershed victory for Depp, and it’s being celebrated as such by ardent fans online and mourned by others, who see Heard’s loss as a sign that the #MeToo movement is running out of steam.
The Beck and Depp album, which will be released in July, could signal a quick attempt to revive Depp’s career. During the trial, Depp said Heard’s allegations hurt his career and led Disney to drop him from “Pirates of the Caribbean 6.” “The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun,” he said in a statement after the jury delivered its verdict.
The publicity surrounding the lawsuit could help Depp reboot, said Eve Ng, a communications professor at Ohio University and author of “Cancel Culture: A Critical Analysis.” “I bet there are people who wouldn’t have even watched this album, but now they’re going to be like, ‘I’m going to go out and buy this just to support it,'” Ng said.
This process might be more difficult for Heard. She appeared in several films such as “The Rum Diary” and “Pineapple Express”, but wrote in The Post editorial that friends and advisers told her she would be blacklisted for making accusations against Depp (who is not named in the article). Although he starred in “Aquaman“, she wrote that she had to fight to keep her role in the sequel and attributed it to “anger for women speaking out”.
“She can’t win,” Ng said. “If she lays down and waits for it to blow up, then people who think she deserves all the horrible backlash she got will have won. … But if she tries to come up with a project like Johnny Depp did, her detractors will say, “Oh, she’s just trying to do this to make us forget her terrible behavior.”
Heard, who accused Depp of physical abuse, lamented the outcome of the case. Her attorney said she would appeal the decision. “I am heartbroken that the mountain of evidence is still not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence and sway of my ex-husband,” Heard said in a statement.
Depp’s turn to music doesn’t come as a total surprise. Although he is best known for starring in films such as ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Alice and Wonderland’, prior to his Hollywood career he dropped out of school to become a musician. He played in the short-lived rock band “P”, which sometimes included performers from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Sex Pistols. He has since collaborated with Oasis, Iggy Pop and Marilyn Manson, among others. In 2015, he formed “Hollywood Vampires” with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry of Aerosmith.
During the show in England last Thursday, Depp bowed to Beck’s announcement and said he and Beck met five years ago and had “never stopped laughing since.” Depp has made several stage appearances on Beck’s current tour and the two released a single together in 2020.
It makes sense that Depp is trying to revive his career after the favorable verdict, said Sarah Kovoor, a professor at University of Colorado Denver Business School which researches crisis management. But he should be careful, she said.
“He has to be very careful not to go from victim to villain,” she said. “He has to show that it’s not just a publicity stunt, it’s something he’s been working on for some time. He has to act like he’s moving forward and not try to make hurt Heard or anyone else.
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