Despite being booted from the sixth installment of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” Johnny Depp still uses his former role as the reckless Captain Jack Sparrow to his advantage during his defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard.
Last week – the fifth week of the ongoing trial – the actor entertained his supporters with a Jack Sparrow impersonation outside the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia, where the case is being heard. According to CNN, a fan shouted “You’ll always be our Captain Jack Sparrow!” while Depp exited the courthouse via an SUV.
“He’s still somewhere around,” said Depp responded with his character’s classic drunken voice† ‘I see him every now and then. He shows up every now and then.’
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Depp was officially dropped from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise in December 2018, shortly after Heard’s Washington Post op-ed — describing personal stories of abuse but not naming Depp as her abuser — was published. Whether the actor will return to reprise his role remains to be seen. Just days before the fifth week of the trial, the franchise’s producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, stated that Depp would not be playing Sparrow any time soon and that his future with the franchise “wasn’t decided yet”.
The sudden break in Depp’s acting career was followed by another loss, when the actor was forced to retire from the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ films after losing a libel case against British tabloid The Sun. During his testimony and cross-examination, Depp complained about both losses, stating that his string of legal battles affected both his profession and his name. Regardless, Depp still remains an acclaimed A-lister within Hollywood – which can’t be said of Heard, who is younger and not quite as established in the industry. And while the hits have had an impact, they have also brought Depp comfort and loyalty from his enduring fan base.
If this six-week trial proved anything, it’s that Depp’s fans absolutely adore and adore him. According to The New York Times, Depp fanatics have routinely lined up outside the courthouse at the crack of dawn, carrying placards with endearing messages, with fan merchandise and — in one case — with a few Depp-loving alpacas. They also have nothing but selfless praise for the actor, and seem to confuse his on-screen characters with the real man.
“We just want to support our captain,” a fan who came dressed as an extra on “Pirates of the Caribbean” to film content for his YouTube channel told the outlet. “If he goes down with the ship, we go down with him.”
“It fulfills a childhood fantasy,” said another fan. “It’s why everyone is here.”
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It’s pretty clear that Depp is well aware of his own popularity and has used it to cheer up his bevy of devotees. Besides the Sparrow video, other online videos shows the actor merrily accepting gifts, blowing kisses, hugging and waving to his fans. If someone lived under a rock, they’d probably think the viral clips came from a meet-and-greet rather than a major mutual abuse lawsuit.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of Depp’s handling of the trial, besides the outraged “Stan culture,” is that it diverts attention from Heard’s serious allegations and further silences survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their allegations of abuse. discredits. Since its inception, the Heard-Depp trial has been regarded as social media entertainment by countless TikTok users mocked Heard’s testimonies by exaggerated reenactments and disparaging comments. There are enough distractions in this whole frenzy already, and Depp’s moment in the spotlight is a tacky tactic to absolve oneself of guilt or crime. In any case, it takes away the seriousness and seriousness of the matter.
An abuse case should not be used as an opportunity for good PR, period. It’s rude and offensive.
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