Johnny Depp joins TikTok, thanks fans for support

Credit: CBSNews
Credit: CBSNews

▶ Watch Video: Amber Heard’s attorney Elaine Bredehoft on verdict and what’s next

Actor Johnny Depp has thanked his fans in his first ever TikTok, six days after winning a contentious defamation trial he brought against his former wife, actress Amber Heard. Coverage of the trial, largely in Depp’s favor, dominated the social media app, sparking viral soundbites and trends. 

The video is Depp’s second public statement since a jury unanimously ruled in his favor in the defamation trial. Depp and his lawyers argued that Depp was defamed by a December 2018 Washington Post op-ed Heard wrote in which she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”

While the article never mentioned Depp by name, Depp’s lawyers said the content implied the article was about Depp. Heard also countersued for libel based on statements Depp’s attorney made to publication Daily Mail, calling her accusations of abuse a hoax. 

In the end, both Depp and Heard were found liable for defamation. Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, and Heard received $2 million. As Virginia law caps punitive damages at $350,000, Depp’s award will total $10.35 million, according to the judge. 

“To all of my most treasured, loyal and unwavering supporters. We’ve been everywhere together, we have seen everything together,” Depp captioned the TikTok. “We have walked the same road together. We did the right thing together, all because you cared. And now, we will all move forward together. You are, as always, my employers and once again I am whittled down to no way to say thank you, other than just by saying thank you. So, thank you.”

The video showed several clips of Depp waving to crowds of supporters from a moving vehicle. During the trial, fans of Depp gathered outside of the courthouse with signs of support for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor. The TikTok, accompanied by a reggae like soundtrack, also showed Depp performing onstage with U.K rocker Jeff Beck. The two went onstage at Sheffield City Hall in Sheffield, England, while the jury was deliberating. 

In the first two hours it was posted, the video got over 3 million views. Depp’s account currently has 4.5 million followers. 

Heard, who called the verdict a disappointment “beyond words,” has maintained that the verdict will set back how domestic violence victims are treated. She also said the jury ignored a 2020 verdict in the United Kingdom, where a judge dismissed Depp’s suit against the Daily Mail for publishing an article that called him a wife beater, and found 12 alleged incidents of domestic violence occurred. 

“As Johnny Depp says he’s ‘moving forward,’ women’s rights are moving backward,” a spokesperson for Amber Heard said in response to the video. “The verdict’s message to victims of domestic violence is…be afraid to stand up and speak out.”

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