Johnny Depp has posted a message to his “most treasured, loyal and unwavering supporters” on Instagram and TikTok on Tuesday, days after winning a defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard.
In the post, the 58-year-old actor wrote to his fans: “We’ve been everywhere together, we have seen everything together. 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. My love & respect, JD.”
Depp, who was touring the UK with musician Jeff Beck when the verdict was announced last week, accused Heard of defamation “with malice” for a 2018 Washington Post op-ed titled “I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath”, in which she referred to herself as a survivor of domestic abuse but did not mention Depp by name.
A Virginia jury found her liable for $15m after a closely watched seven-week trial that featured dozens of witnesses and was fodder for memes, misinformation and amateur analysis online. Some have called the verdict, which found that Heard acted with “malice” in calling herself a victim of spousal abuse, a tipping point in the backlash to the #MeToo movement.
“As Johnny Depp says he’s ‘moving forward,’ women’s rights are moving backward,” said a spokesperson for Amber Heard in response. “The verdict’s message to victims of domestic violence is … be afraid to stand up and speak out.”
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor also made his TikTok debut on Tuesday with a video montage from his tour with Beck, including a show at London’s Royal Albert Hall a few days before the verdict was announced. The account already has 4.5 million followers.
Depp had previously commented on his trial victory with a statement shortly after the verdict, writing: “From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me. I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that.”
His initial Instagram post was liked by over 18 million users, including Patti Smith, Jennifer Aniston, Amanda Knox, Paris Hilton and Taika Waititi.
Heard expressed disappointment for “what this verdict means for women” in a post-trial Instagram post, writing that “it sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously”.