Johnny Depp, the actor most known for playing Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, says he’s being boycotted by Hollywood over his recent legal battles with the British press and his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard.
In an interview with the UK’s Sunday Times, the 58-year-old actor said that, “Whatever I’ve gone through, I’ve gone through, but ultimately, this particular arena of my life has been so absurd.”
Dating back to what Depp calls “over five surreal years” of litigation, the actor has found himself engaged in defamation cases aimed at both The Sun, a British news organization that called him a “wife beater,” and his ex-wife Amber Heard, who released similar allegations about her years married to Depp.
His court battles have cost him to be replaced by Mads Mikkelsen in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, but not everyone has “canceled” Johnny Depp, as he’s still set to receive the San Sebastian International Film Festival’s lifetime achievement award in Spain this September.
Minamata, Depp’s upcoming film about an American journalist who uncovered the horrific effects of lead poisoning in 1970s Japan, was recently shelved by MGM with no future plans for U.S. distribution.
“We looked these people in the eyeballs and promised we would not be exploitative,” Depp told The Sunday Times. “I believe that we’ve kept our end of the bargain, but those who came in later should also maintain theirs.”
“This affects those in Minamata and people who experience similar things,” Depp continued, but “for Hollywood’s boycott of me? One man, one actor in an unpleasant and messy situation, over the last number of years? I’m moving towards where I need to go to bring things to light.”
What Depp is presumably alluding to is the belief that Amber Heard’s accusations against him are, what he told The Washington Post back in 2020, “a hoax.”
Searching for evidence against Heard’s character, Johnny Depp and his attorneys have been in a lengthy legal battle following his divorce with Heard, who accused Depp of emotional, verbal, and physical abuse.
In 2018, British newspaper The Sun, which has also come under fire for their treatment of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, was sued by Depp for libel after a headline called him a “wife beater.”
Losing the case, a London court ruled that the headline was “substantially true,” following Amber Heard’s testimony.
“Some incidents were so severe that I was afraid he was going to kill me, either intentionally, or just by losing control and going too far,” Heard reported at the time. “He demeaned me anytime I tried to wear anything that could be seen as sexy, calling me a ‘whore,’ ‘slut,’ ‘fame-hungry’ and ‘an attention whore.'”
A disturbing video was later released by Heard that clearly showed an abusive Johnny Depp, breaking glass, slamming kitchen cabinets, and throwing a wine bottle at her. Appearing to be drunk in the video, Depp becomes increasingly more agitated once he realizes that Heard had been filming the altercation on her phone for proof.
Winning the case, Heard was awarded a $7 million settlement, which she claimed she donated to the American Civil Liberties Union and Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. According to Screen Rant, following multiple rejections for appeal, Depp and his lawyers have won the right to force Heard to prove that she donated the money as promised. They hope to prove that she kept it, which would show a hole in her character.
While Johnny Depp claims that he’s being boycotted by Hollywood, Warner Bros. has announced that it plans on keeping Amber Heard in their Aquaman franchise, where she most recently played Mera alongside Jason Mamoa in DC’s Justice League.