Johnny Depp fans have praised his “sincerity and humility” as they queued up in a US court from the early hours to support the actor in his latest legal battle.
r Depp, 58, was hailed as a “true, heartfelt lover of his fans,” who described his “goofy” behavior as “lovable.”
The actor is suing his former partner, actress Amber Heard, for defamation over a 2018 article she wrote in The Washington Post detailing her experience of domestic violence.
Mr Depp’s lawyers say the article falsely implied that Ms Heard, 35, was physically and sexually abused by him when they were married.
He says the allegations have made it difficult for him to get the kind of roles he used to have and filed the $50million (£38.2million) lawsuit in 2019.
Both actors appeared in person for the jury’s selection on Monday and are expected to testify during the six-week trial alongside other high-profile figures such as James Franco, Paul Bettany and Elon Musk.
Mr Depp wore a gray suit and glasses and wore his long hair down, while Ms Heard wore a black jacket and white blouse.
Around 50 fans gathered outside Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Virginia, some as early as 5 a.m., hoping to catch a glimpse of Depp and hear him “speak his truth.”
Bekka Fontanilla, 35, told the PA news agency: “He’s an absolutely genuine, heartfelt lover to his fans.
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“His fans are drawn to his sincerity and humility. He’s a good soul and you can tell.
“He likes to connect and values it very much. He seems silly and real, which is endearing.”
I want to be there for him and hear him speak his truth. He is valued and appreciatedYvonne de Bur
Yvonne De Boer, who traveled from Los Angeles for the trial, said: “I’ve been a fan for 36 years, I’ve met him many times.
“I love him. I want to be there for him and hear him speak his truth. He is valued and valued.”
Kayla Gauthier, 19, who came to court with her mother, said: “I’ve been a fan of his all my life and I want to support him in any way I can.
“Being here in person is the best way to do that. He’s my favorite person, I grew up watching his films and he’s one of my heroes.”
Ms Gauthier added the claims were “obviously untrue” but she would be “very disappointed” if that were the case.
Ms. Heard’s article in The Washington Post was titled: I spoke out against sexual violence – and faced the wrath of our culture. That needs to change.
Mr Depp was not mentioned by name.
The actress’ attorneys are expected to argue that she should be immune from the defamation lawsuit because of a Virginia law known as an anti-slapping provision (a strategic lawsuit against public participation).
The provision is designed to protect people from harassment claims when speaking about matters of public interest.
Ms Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, has argued that the article addresses a serious issue of public concern: the prevention of domestic violence.
The actress has also filed a counterclaim for defamation against Mr Depp over statements made by his attorney about her.
The case is being brought in Virginia and not in California, where the actors live, because the Washington Post’s online editions are published through servers in Fairfax County.
Mr. Depp’s attorneys say one of the reasons they brought the case in Virginia is that the state’s anti-slapping law is not as comprehensive as California’s.
It comes after he lost a similar UK defamation case he brought against The Sun’s publishers, News Group Newspapers (NGN).
An article also written in 2018 by The Sun editor-in-chief Dan Wootton referred to Mr Depp as a “wife beater” in the headline.
After a 16-day trial in July 2021, a judge found the content of the article to be “essentially true.”
Mr Depp was denied permission to appeal the decision to the Court of Appeal.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/fans-hail-totally-genuine-johnny-depp-before-new-court-battle-with-amber-heard-41542714.html Fans hail Johnny Depp as ‘totally genuine’ ahead of new court battle with Amber Heard.