Johnny Depp posts holiday message to fans amid new legal fight: 'This year has been so hard for so many'

Erin Donnelly
·2 min read
Johnny Depp posted a holiday message to fans amid a new push to appeal his U.K. libel ruling. (Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for ZFF)
Johnny Depp posted a holiday message to fans amid a new push to appeal his U.K. libel ruling. (Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for ZFF)

Johnny Depp has posted a holiday message to fans reflecting on a year that “has been so hard for so many.”

“This year has been so hard for so many,” the 57-year-old actor wrote. “Here’s to a better time ahead. Happy Holidays, everyone! My love and respect to you all. Eternally, JD.” The message was accompanied by a photo of Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan (famed for the coarse Christmas classic “Fairytale of New York”) taken on the set of Crock of Gold, a documentary about the hard-living rocker which Depp has produced.

Asia Argento, Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom and singer Patti Smith were among those responding to the Pirates of the Caribbean star’s post, which comes after the loss of his libel suit in a U.K. court and his subsequent departure from the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

“We are yours eternally,” wrote Smith.

Aside from a post last month promoting the release of Crock of Gold, Depp’s last social media statement was his Nov. 6 open letter announcing to fans that Warner Bros. had asked him to resign from his role as Grindelwald in the Harry Potter spin-off series — in which Mads Mikkelsen has just been cast as his replacement — following what he called the U.K. court’s “surreal judgement.”

The actor had sued News Group Newspapers (NGN), owner of British tabloid the Sun, and the tabloid’s executive editor, Dan Wootton, over a 2018 article that referred to “overwhelming evidence” he attacked ex-wife Amber Heard during their relationship. Depp has denied the actress’s claims of domestic abuse, but the judge in his trial ruled against him, asserting that it was not libelous for the newspaper to describe him as a “wife beater.”

Just last week, Depp’s legal counsel filed new documents in appeals court asking for a new trial, hitting out at the original justice’s “uncritical acceptance” of Heard’s testimony and insisting that their famous client “did not receive a fair trial.”

“This was a very public judgement, reached by a single judge, making devastating findings of extremely serious criminal offenses having been committed, and where this has had wider-ranging implications for the public at large, particularly victims, or those wrongly accused, of alleged domestic abuse,” Depp’s lawyer, David Sherborne, wrote.

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