“I acknowledge the fact that I was gruff old Fogy and she was this beautiful creature,” Johnny Depp said during his three-day testimony in the $50 million defamation lawsuit he brought against ex-wife Amber Heard.
Why so humble, Johnny? The comment seems a little disingenuous from a man who still has a reputation for being one of the most handsome men in Hollywood. While Depp’s film career has left many reeling, he still makes millions for his movie star looks and charisma in ads for Christian Dior’s Sauvage fragrance.
As the representative of the idealized faithful wife, Christian Dior continues to stand by her husband. Not only does he keep his “gruff old gruff face” on billboards, TV screens, and in the glossy magazines, but he also helps cement his reputation as a fierce yet noble and honest man with a “gentle animal charm.”
Do not believe me? Take a look at Dior’s description of her Sauvage fragrance: “In a bracket inhabited by ancient legends, where wolves are gods and humans let their animal instincts speak… Stripped of all artifice, he becomes one with the desert.” Damn.
To really show off Depp’s embodiment of wild, animalistic glamour, the ads have him surrounded by wolves in various ways, alongside a howling shirtless wolf staring moodily into the distance, and in the middle – yes, you guessed it—from a desert. It might sound like a bunch of old nonsense, but Dior’s blurb and imagery help cement public notions of Depp’s personality. He is cast as the face of Sauvage because, according to Dior, he embodies the spirit of the fragrance: wild and animalistic, but also noble, honest and authentic.
One would think the associations between wild and animalistic might prove distasteful in the wake of Heard’s domestic abuse allegations against Depp. However, there is a double benefit here.
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Dior was smart. At a time when many celebs are yelling “break culture!” Whenever they’re criticized or held accountable for their comments or behavior, Dior’s team seems to recognize that controversy can boost sales.
Following Heard’s allegations of domestic violence and Depp’s ill-fated libel case against The Sun in 2020 for branding him a “wife beater,” just as Justice Andrew Nicol said the defendants had proved their allegations against Depp to be “essentially true,” not only Dior maintained their collaboration with Depp, but also published new ads. Has Dior been terminated? Has Sauvage been taken off the market? nope Sales of the fragrance soared.
The hashtag #JusticeforJohnny, which has been active since Heard claimed he was physically and sexually assaulted by Depp, showed fans’ emotional strength. They thanked Dior for the brand’s loyalty to Depp.
In the courtroom, Depp played on the support of his fanbase, explaining, “My goal is truth because it’s killing me that all these people that I’ve met over the years … that these people would think I was a imposter.”
Depp met Heard while working on The Rum Diaries, an adaptation of a Hunter S. Thompson novel. Heard fulfilled Depp’s vision of the perfect femme fatale, and he appears to be constructing the same scenario in the courtroom. He is an eccentric but charismatic and noble gentleman; exploited and ruined by his love for a beautiful, fame-hungry young actress.
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For example, Depp apologizes for his “vulgar language” in the lyrics about killing Heard and then raping the corpse “to check if she’s dead.” He attributes the horror of the images to the pain he was feeling at the time of writing, thereby making the images of a woman’s torture his own emotional suffering.
He also tries to intellectualize these abusive lyrics about Heard by comparing the writing style to Thompson’s gonzo journalism style…well, if depicting obscene violence against women is a literary device, then that’s just Depp being properly artistic, isn’t it ?
Heard doesn’t come out of the trial smelling of roses, but Depp — despite evidence of his aggressive and abusive behavior — appears to smell like Dior’s Sauvage. He owes them a lot.
The Christian Dior team has been contacted for comment.
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/why-is-johnny-depp-still-the-face-of-dior-sauvage-41588215.html Why is Johnny Depp still the face of Dior Sauvage?