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Johnny Depp Talks ‘Re-Beginning’ Amidst Amber Heard Lawsuits And Career Setbacks

Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean
(Image credit: Walt Disney Co.)

Johnny Depp may have lost a lawsuit over him being depicted as a “wife-beater” and he may have lost a couple of high profile film jobs, but Depp is far from done professionally. He just received a major award and is hoping that the moment will launch a “re-beginning” for himself.

On Tuesday Johnny Depp was awarded the Gold Medal of Merit by the nation of Serbia. He was presented with the award by President Aleksandar Vucic for "outstanding merits in public and cultural activities, especially in the field of film art and the promotion of the Republic of Serbia in the world." Depp’s most recent film, Minamata included scenes shot in Belgrade. 

Depp accepted the award and, according to Daily Mail, said he was on the verge of a “new life” and hoped that receiving the award was marking a “re-beginning” for himself. Depp didn’t make direct reference to his personal and professional struggles but he clearly had them on his mind while accepting this award.

Depp has been in a career slump of late, mostly related to his personal legal battles with ex-wife Amber Heard. In November 2020 Depp lost a libel lawsuit against a UK paper who had referred to the Pirates of the Caribbean actor as a “wife-beater” in its pages. Shortly thereafter it was announced that Warner Bros. and Depp had decided to part ways and the actor would not be reprising his role as Grindelwald in the third Fantastic Beasts movie.

Depp has a second lawsuit pending in Virginia which is set to go to trial in a couple of months. This one is a defamation case directly against Heard. Depp claims that an op-ed she wrote in the Washington Post, where she admitted to being a survivor of domestic abuse, cost him his role in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise with Disney. 

Amber Heard has since filed her own defamation countersuit, since supporters of Depp began a campaign to attempt to get her fired from Aquaman 2, a campaign that was unsuccessful.

Johnny Depp hasn’t had his career stall entirely, he did film the drama Minamata, though the movie has been in release limbo since it was produced. It has made about $1.5 million overseas but has continued to see its domestic release delayed, though that hasn’t stopped it from receiving serious fan support. He also has at least one other film lined up. But for somebody who was one of Hollywood’s most in demand actor at one time, things are certainly in a different place. 

Perhaps we will see a new beginning for Johnny Depp at some point. It’s possible that once his current legal battles are behind him and he can focus on work, the work will be there. Although, it’s also possible that the result of these legal battles will go a long way to determining just how much studios want to work with Depp going forward. 

Dirk Libbey
Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.