The ongoing defamation trial between ex-spouses Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is being watched closely – not just by members of the public, but by other celebrities.
Depp is suing Heard for $50m (£38.2m). He alleges that Heard implied that he abused her in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed about domestic violence.
Heard is countersuing for $100m (£80.9m), accusing Depp of orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her and describing his lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment”.
You can follow the latest updates from the Depp v Heard trial here.
Over the course of proceeding – and Depp’s previous legal case against The Sun – a number of prominent celebrties have offered their take on the couple, with Heard receiving public backing from many.
However, others have also spoken out in support of Depp, including his ex-partner Winona Ryder, Javier Bardem and Sia.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the biggest names to speak out in favor of Depp, and what exactly they said…
While Depp was involved in a case against British newspaper The Sun for libel after being described as a “wife beater” in an article, his ex-partner and Edward Scissorhands co-star Ryder issued a statement in his defense.
“The idea that he is an incredibly violent person is the farthest thing from the Johnny I knew and loved,” she said.
“He was never, never violent towards me. He has never been violent or abusive towards anybody I have seen.”
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Bardem worked with Depp on the 2000 film Before Night Falls and 2017’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
In 2020, he gave his support to the actor in the defamation trial, writing in documents seen by People magazine: “I love Johnny. He has always been a true gentleman and an extremely generous and caring friend to my family and myself.
“On top of that I’ve had the gift of working with him twice and have experienced his respectful attitude towards every single member of the crew alongside his unique and hilarious sense of humour.”
He added: “I stand by Johnny because I have always seen and felt a true caring and loving man in him – an extraordinary and unique artist who has listened to anyone who needed his help. I not only love Johnny but respect him deeply and I thank him for being the free and careless little boy he is in his art by him and the mature and loving man he is in the lives of others – always there when we need him.
Bardem claimed that Depp was a “good human being” who was “trapped in the lies and manipulations of toxic beings”.
Actor Penélope Cruz, who is married to Bardem and co-starred with Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tidesalso filed a deposition in support of Depp.
She wrote that Depp treated her with “sweetness, protection and kindness” during their time on Pirateswhen she was pregnant.
“I’ve seen Johnny in so many situations and he is always kind to everyone around. He is one of the most generous people I know,” she said.
Musician Sia shared her support for Depp in a tweet, writing “Just showing my public support for Johnny Depp.
“I mean, I’d love him to get clean and stop with the jewellery, but he is clearly the victim after hearing those tapes.”
French actor Eva Mendes, who worked with Depp on 2012’s Dark Shadowsshared an Instagram post in support of Depp during the US defamation trial.
“I have no doubt Johnny will emerge with his good name and wonderful heart revealed to the world, and life will be better than it ever was for him and his family,” she wrote in the caption.
French singer-songwriter Vanessa Paradis, another former partner of Depp’s, offered a written support of the actor during his 2020 UK libel case.
“I have known Johnny for more than 25 years. We’ve been partners for 14 years and we raised our two children together,” she wrote. “Through all these years I’ve known Johnny to be a kind, attentive, generous and non-violent person and father.
“On movie sets the actors, directors and entire crews adore him because he is humble and respectful to everyone, as well as being one of the best actors we’ve seen. I am aware of the allegations which Amber Heard has publicly accused Johnny of for more than four years now.
“This is nothing like the true Johnny I have known, and from my personal experience of many years, I can say he was never violent or abusive to me. I have seen that these outrageous statements have been really distressing, and also caused damage to his career because unfortunately people have gone on believing these false facts.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, you can call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge, on 0808 2000 247, or visit their website here.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.