Johnny Depp celebrates his victory in the trial in really unpleasant ways



After winning his libel lawsuit in the US – a civil suit he brought against his ex-wife, Amber Heard – Johnny Depp is busy living the good life.

Before the verdict was read, I was on tour with British musician Jeff Beck, starting in Sheffield, where an unsuspecting crowd (including my father) were greeted by a surprise appearance by the star of Pirates of the Caribbean. The largely male audience at Sheffield City Hall “enjoyed” Depp’s presence, my dad said. “It lifted the mood.”

On Sunday, Depp and Beck, along with their security staff and entourage, rented out an entire Indian restaurant in Birmingham. Depp, who has never shied away from excess, reportedly spent ₤50,000 ($63,000) on food, splurging on wine, champagne and cocktails.

He has even joined TikTok, that young and trendy platform largely populated by young trendy people, although he has yet to post his first video.

Depp did not appear in the Virginia courtroom when the jury reached its conclusion. He perhaps already knew that he had won where it matters: on social networks.

It’s all party time in Deppland, and it might as well be. The “global humiliation” that he promised his ex-wife is complete. Abuse has rained down on her on every platform imaginable, blanketing social media like a biblical plague. Heard’s facial expressions, gestures, and mannerisms have been dissected and ridiculed by imaginary detectives, her testimony has been ridiculed with filters, and by TikTok users who have mimicked and mocked the camera.

Forget locusts, darkness, hail, water turning to blood – try being an unpopular woman testifying against a popular man.

Some of the comments and tweets from users directed at the staff and collaborators of the independent covering the case Depp vs. Heard have been truly horrifying in their cruelty. Sharing our content about the trial on Twitter, I realized that there was no suggestion of a hashtags Heard’s name alone, as unsavory and abusive hashtags were ubiquitous, obliterating neutral or supportive alternatives.

Other public figures who dare to express even the slightest bit of support have become targets of harassment. A psychiatrist who testified on Heard’s behalf spoke of receiving a share of the abuse, and of Depp’s apparent unwillingness to moderate the behavior of his fans.

Not once, over the course of this brutal six-week court battle, has Depp made a statement to the effect of, “I know you all love me, but can you tone it down a bit please?” The fact that he didn’t tells you all you need to know, if the text messages to his friend Paul Bettany, where he wrote: “Let’s drown her before we burn her!!! I will fuck her burnt corpse after her to make sure she is dead.”

Perhaps it’s no surprise that Depp has decided to join TikTok, given the amount of support his users have given him. It has been home to some of the most vicious and misogynistic anti-Heard content, including conspiracy theories about his cocaine snorting on the stand, and the most sycophantic and tender pro-Depp videos.

TikTok has been a rich mine of sycophants for Depp, which wouldn’t be strange if a UK court hadn’t ruled that he assaulted Heard a dozen times and made her fear for her life three times. Her appeal in Britain was denied. But no matter, Depp already has 3.9 million followers on TikTok, before posting a single post.

Clémence Michallon, our US culture writer, described herself as “disgusted” by the case she reported on for seven weeks. She wrote: “Through it all, the cruelty of those who mocked Heard never ceased to amaze me.” This cruelty has been normalized and pampered by Depp’s silence. She’s the only person her legions of fans could have listened to, and the fact that she doesn’t address them about bullying Heard online and outside of the room is very revealing.

Heard has been summarily destroyed. I wonder how many of us could honestly say that our mental health would recover if we were subjected to the same treatment. But don’t worry, at least Johnny is on TikTok now. He’ll soon be dancing to Harry Styles, wearing adorable filters, giving people what he wants. Maybe he too will reprise his role as Captain Jack Sparrow and entertain us all.