Johnny Depp received support on social media during his his defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard — and now he's thanking his "treasured" fans on a new TikTok account. The video-sharing platform was the site of much of trial's online scrutiny.
On Tuesday, just days after scoring a legal victory in the lawsuit, Depp, 58, joined the social media site, quickly racking up millions of followers. (As of the writing of this article, Depp has 4.6 million followers).
"To all of my most treasured, loyal and unwavering supporters. 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 wrote in his first post.
Depp included a video montage in his post that showed his supporters cheering him on as he traveled to the courthouse in Fairfax, Va. during trial, which spanned six weeks. It also contained scenes of him performing onstage alongside rocker Jeff Beck shortly after testimonies concluded.
In his TikTok bio, the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise star identified himself as an "Occasional Thespian."
In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, Heard slammed Depp's new social media account and post.
“As Johnny Depp says he’s ‘moving forward,’ women’s rights are moving backward. The verdict’s message to victims of domestic violence is...be afraid to stand up and speak out," she said through a spokesperson.
On June 1, a jury unanimously found “clear and convincing evidence” that Heard defamed Depp when she wrote an op-ed about being a victim of domestic violence for the Washington Post in 2018.
Depp was never identified in the op-ed, Depp’s legal team argued in the initial complaint that the article is a “clear implication that Mr. Depp is a domestic abuser," because when Heard filed for divorce in 2016, she also filed for a domestic violence restraining order.
Depp denied all allegations of abuse and sued Heard for $50 million in damages. Heard countersued for $100 million, arguing that Depp’s team launched a “smear campaign” against her.
After listening to testimony from both Heard and Depp — as well as testimony from experts and those connected to the couple like Heard’s sister, Depp’s ex-girlfriend Kate Moss and other former partners — the jury found no instances of abuse.
Depp was initially awarded $15 million in combined compensatory and punitive damages, but Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Penney Azcarate reduced the punitive damages amount to $350,000, the state’s legal limit, making his total damages $10.4 million.
Regarding Heard’s countersuit, the jury found one defamatory statement made by one of Depp’s lawyers and awarded her $2 million in compensatory damages and nothing in punitive damages.
During a June 2 appearance on the TODAY show, Heard's lawyer Elaine Charlson Bredehoft said her client is "absolutely not" able to pay that amount to Depp, and plans to appeal the verdict.
Following the verdict, both Depp and Heard released statements.
“Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also, the lives of the people who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed. All in the blink of an eye,” Depp said in the statement, posted to Instagram of the effect of Heard's "false" statements.
“And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled,” he said.
Depp, who lost a libel trial in 2020 held on similar grounds, said he pursued the defamation case against his ex-wife to “reveal the truth.”
"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,” he said.
In her own statement, Heard said she was disappointed by the jury's verdict.
"I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband,” she said.
Heard also said the jury's verdict would have terrible ramifications for victims of domestic violence.
"It is a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously,” she said.
Heard's lawyer, Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, told TODAY her client was "demonized" throughout the trial, and said the jury effectively dismissed Heard's claims of abuse, which she described in graphic detail.
“It’s a horrible message,” Bredehoft said. “It’s a significant setback, because that’s exactly what it means. Unless you pull out your phone and you video your spouse or your significant other beating you, effectively you won’t be believed.”
She also said Depp's legal team managed to suppress “an enormous amount of evidence.”
"A number of things were allowed in this court that should not have been allowed, and it caused the jury to be confused," she said.
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY: