KEY POINTS

  • Two crisis PR experts believe that Johnny Depp obtained the favor of the court of public opinion
  • The actor has "re-proven his popularity" with the support he's received amid his defamation trial against Amber Heard, they say
  • Heard "doesn't have a lot of the vocal support she needed," one expert claims

Johnny Depp has won in the court of public opinion regardless of the outcome of his defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard, a crisis public relations expert has suggested.

After six weeks of testimony from Depp and Heard’s legal teams, both sides delivered closing arguments Friday, and jury deliberations began. The jury must now reach a verdict on whether Heard's domestic violence claims, which stem from her 2018 Washington Post op-ed, were defamatory toward the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star. 

Two crisis PR experts "with years of experience in Hollywood," who spoke with Entertainment Weekly under the condition of anonymity, suggested that Depp appears to have vindicated himself, at least in the court of public opinion, due to the number of people who stepped up to support him.

"Bringing people in like Kate Moss, who he was rumored to have hit, and have women standing up for him, that's hard to get," the first PR source told EW. "One of the reasons why I think he's getting a bit of a pass here is that he has a lot of people willing to stand up for him. And whether or not that's because of a power dynamic and this is Hollywood at its finest, or worst, that means something."

The second PR expert had a similar take, saying: "It truly proves that it kind of doesn't matter what happens in the court of law, it's what the public thinks. Depp has now re-proven his popularity. He's the Fonz, right?"

Since the trial began, the hashtag #JusticeforJohnnyDepp alone has surpassed 10 billion views on TikTok, according to Wired. Celebrities such as Ireland Baldwin, Bill Burr, Paul McCartney and Chris Rock, among others, have also either publicly expressed their support for Depp or slammed Heard.

On the other hand, Heard "doesn't have a lot of the vocal support she needed," the first source claimed.

Initially, Heard's ex Elon Musk and her former co-star James Franco were expected to testify for her, but both ultimately did not do it. Depp's ex Moss, on the other hand, appeared in court Wednesday and denied rumors that he assaulted her when they were together.

"I really think [Heard's team] thought they had much more of a slam dunk. And both lawyers are bulldogs about all of this. I'm not sure what's going to happen, but he's certainly winning the court of public opinion, and that does matter at the end of the day," the first expert added.

Asked if the trial was worth Depp's time and money even if he loses the case in the end, the first PR source said they believe the actor had nothing to lose by the time it began but instead got the opportunity to paint Heard as "questionable."

But the second PR expert said only Depp can determine if the trial ends up being worth it. "It's hard to answer that because that's something that goes on in his mind, and a value he can judge and the rest of us can't," they told the outlet.

The jury is expected to resume deliberations Tuesday.

Heard has countersued Depp for $100 million, claiming he defamed her when he said she was lying about her abuse allegations.

Johnny Depp waves to fans outside the Fairfax County Circuit Court Johnny Depp waves to fans outside the Fairfax County Circuit Court Photo: AFP / Brendan Smialowski