As a blood-and-guts tale worthy of any Hollywood psychodrama, the ex-spouse defamation suit showdown between Johnny Depp, 58, and Amber Heard, 36, has gripped the nation and had the public and celebrities alike lining up to choose a side.
In one corner is Johnny Depp; the Hollywood heartthrob, in the public’s lives for over three decades, the number one A-lister for a period and the creator of the beloved character Captain Jack Sparrow.
And in the other corner his less famous, less well-known, less beloved ex-wife Amber Heard, with a smaller well of public sympathy to draw from.
While Depp has brought his trademark likeable charisma to the courtroom and won the backing of dozens of celebrities that he has worked with and befriended over a lifetime in showbiz, Heard has found it harder to elicit support.
But some celebrities have come out in support for the Aquaman actress. So who are they?
Amber Heard, 36, is countersuing Johnny Depp for allegedly orchestrating a ‘smear campaign’ against her and describing his own lawsuit as a continuation of ‘abuse and harassment’ she suffered at his hands during their marriage
Kathy Griffin (left) came out in support of Heard at the start of the trial, while David Krumholtz (right) called her ‘brilliant’ and ‘strong’
Johnny Depp is suing his ex-wife Amber Heard in a Virginia court for $50 million after she penned an op-ed in the Washington Post claiming that she was a victim of domestic abuse
Ellen Barkin (right), who dated Depp (left) briefly in the 90s when they filmed Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas together, said in testimony recorded in 2019 that Depp was ‘jealous’ and ‘controlling’
Actress Julia Fox defended Heard by saying she did not abuse Depp as he was more powerful than her both ‘physically and financially’
Comedian Kathy Griffin came out in support of Heard after the actress posted on Twitter that she would be taking a hiatus from social media during the trial.
She commented on Heard’s announcement: ‘Oh, Doll. I’m thinking about you and sending all the love.’
Veteran shock jock Stern, never afraid to speak his mind, came out against Depp on his SiriusXM show in late April.
‘He figured, ”I’ll put this on TV because I’m so persuasive and I’m so smart, and I’m such a wonderful guy… I will charm the pants off of America at the trial,” Stern said.
‘No you won’t. This will not go well. It’s not going well for you, it’s not going well for her. It’s not going well for anybody. You sound like two battling children. It’s just coming off really badly.’
Hollywood luminary Barkin dated Depp briefly in the 1990s and has testified during the suit against Depp.
Jurors heard how the Edward Scissorhands actor was a ‘jealous, controlling man,’ who had once thrown a wine bottle across a hotel room.
‘Where are you going? Who are you going with? What did you do last night?’ she claimed he would ask her constantly.
Depp retorted that she held a grudge against him, ever since he had spurned her three decades ago.
Fox, nominated for the Breakthrough Actor Award at the 2019 Gotham Awards after her debut role in Uncut Gems, came to Heard’s defence on Instagram.
‘This is clearly a sick way of still controlling her life by suing her all over the world.’
‘Did she hit him? Yes. Was it abuse? No. You need to have power to be able to abuse it. She was 25. He clearly was always way more powerful including physically and financially.’
TV actor Krumholtz attacked Depp over his drug and alcohol consumption, saying it turned men into ‘monsters’. In a series of Instagram posts he laid into Depp and, although he said she is not innocent, he concluded with: ‘I believe Amber Heard.’
The suit kicked off when Depp sued Heard for defamation, demanding $50 million in damages from his ex-wife after she penned a Washington Post op-ed in which she claims she described herself as ‘a public figure representing domestic abuse.’
Depp’s lawyers say he was defamed by the article even though it never mentioned his name, as it falsely portrayed him as a domestic abuser and cost him his lucrative film career, including the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie franchise.
Civil attorney Katherine Lizardo said Depp had a ‘very unique personality,’ and appeared genuine and smiled often, potentially making him appealing to the jury.
This has helped him win the battle for public opinion, with a petition of almost 4.3 million signatures demanding Heard be dropped from her role in Aquaman 2.
The list of actors on ‘Team Depp’ is long and illustrious, with names such as Winona Ryder, with whom he stared in 1990’s Edward Scissorhands, Javier Bardem, who formed a formidable cast of A-listers with Depp on 2017’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge, and Chris Rock, who joked on stage that we should ‘believe all women, just not Amber Heard’.
French actress Eva Green, 41, said: ‘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.’
And Courtney Love posted a video to Instagram telling how Depp once saved her life by performing CPR when she had overdosed in a club.
Closing arguments for the trial will be heard on Friday after seven weeks of allegations of drug abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse and death threats.