For weeks, the world could not stop watching the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Depp was suing Heard because of a 2018 OpEd she wrote that was published in The Washington Post, in which she referred to herself as a survivor of domestic violence. While Heard never named Depp in the article, the years that she was married to Depp were years that she said she was abused. Depp sued Heard for $50 million, claiming that the article cost him his reputation and multiple film jobs.
The trial lasted a total of six weeks and, in the end, the jury awarded Depp $15 million of his requested $50 million. Heard had countersued Depp for $100 million and was awarded $2 million. During the trial, Depp fans swarmed the courthouse and the courtroom itself — wristbands that were given out for the trial are selling for thousands of dollars. They held up signs showing support, and a number of Hollywood stars said that they had worked with Depp, and it was a great experience.
The trial made it look like Johnny Depp was truly wronged and as though his career would be able to see a massive comeback, since many felt that the evidence shown during the trial proved he was the abused, not the abuser. However, a recent poll conducted by Morning Consult appears to show that Johnny Depp is actually less popular after the trial, not more.
For its poll, Morning Consult spoke to people from all walks of life — from millennials to senior citizens, men, women, Democrats, and Republicans. Depp’s popularity dropped among every, single group. Here’s what the poll found:
- The share of U.S. adults with a “very” or “somewhat” favorable view of Depp declined 12 percentage points from 68% in an April survey to 56% in a June survey conducted after the six-week trial concluded.
- In April, Depp’s favorability rating among baby boomers was 59%. In June, that figure dropped to 37%.
- Younger respondents found Depp much more likable than their older peers after the trial: 70% of Gen Z adults held a favorable view after the trial, down just 2 percentage points since April, while his favorability rating among millennials dropped 6 points, to 72%.
- Depp’s favorability rating among men dropped from 67% to 52%, compared to a 9-point drop-off among women in the same time frame.
- The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star’s popularity fell from 70% to 55% among Democrats and from 68% to 55% among independents. He saw a smaller decrease among Republicans, from 65% to 57%.
While Depp’s popularity may have declined, he still has a chance of making the Hollywood comeback his fans want. A former Disney executive said that it is possible that Depp could return to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise due to a renewed interest in a sixth film. Depp said during the trial that he lost $22 million on the Pirates 6 project when Disney dropped him after the OpEd came out. He also said that he would not return to the franchise, no matter how much Disney offered him.
After the OpEd came out, Depp was also dropped from the Fantastic Beasts franchise — a spinoff from Harry Potter — and was replaced as Gellert Grindlewald by Mads Mikkelsen.