Last week, a jury of five men and two women ruled largely in Johnny Depp’s favor as his defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard came to an end.
The incredibly high-profile six-week trial was triggered by an op-ed that Amber had written for the Washington Post in 2018, which called for there to be more support for women who had survived domestic violence.
While she didn’t mention Johnny by name, she stated that she’d become a “public figure” for domestic abuse two years earlier, which is when she filed for a divorce from the actor and obtained a temporary restraining order against him.
Johnny has denied abusing Amber and filed a defamation lawsuit against her in response to the publication of her op-ed.
The case went to trial in April of this year — two years after Johnny lost a libel case against British tabloid the Sun when a judge ruled that there was enough evidence to support them calling him a “wife beater” in an article.
This year’s defamation trial took place in Virginia, and thanks to the state’s laws that allowed for the court to be livestreamed online, it was meticulously followed by people across the globe.
While Johnny’s fans rallied together via social media to throw their support behind him, some turned nasty as they bombarded his daughter, Lily-Rose Depp, with abusive messages on Instagram.
Aside from a post marking her 23rd birthday on May 28, Lily-Rose was not active on her social media account throughout the trial. However, her previous photos were targeted with comments calling her out for not publicly backing her dad.
Last month, a now-viral tweet shared a screenshot of just some of the comments that the user had spotted on Lily-Rose’s Instagram page.
“You post your t i t s more than your own dad, what a wreck,” one message read. Another person had written: “Not a single pic of your dad! What kind of human being are u!?” In a second comment, the same account continued: “After years you will be gone and forgotten and people will only remember you as the daughter of a legendary man.”
Social media users shared their shock at the harassment that Lily-Rose was facing and called out the trolls online. One tweet read: “Y’all have no consideration that maybe all this is difficult for her, y’all feel entitled to her time & energy. It’s sick.”
And Johnny has seemingly addressed Lily-Rose’s silence in a collection of images from his NFT project Never Fear Truth, which he launched in January.
Described as the “first public exposure of Johnny’s art,” Never Fear Truth focuses on the star’s “friends and heroes,” with the website adding: “People he has known well, and who have inspired him as a person. Each image is an intimate reflection of their character in Johnny's eyes; a portrayal of how they have revealed themselves to him.”
Some of the famous names represented in the NFTs are River Phoenix, Heath Ledger, and Elizabeth Taylor — as well as Lily-Rose.
There are hundreds of different animated images of his daughter, which have all been worked from the same photographic image before being stripped back and “energized” with Johnny’s freehand and "reflections of the individual's nature."
“Silence, exile, cunning” is a paraphrase from the novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, and Johnny also has the three words tattooed on his forearm.
A spokesperson for Johnny Depp told Buzzfeed News that the portraits and words used in the art were made separately and then randomized and edited to create thousands of individual and unique pieces when working with the NFT team. They said that the same words also appear on many other portraits featured in the project, and they are “in no way” a message from Johnny to his daughter, “who he loves and adores.”
They added: “The pictures of Lily-Rose with those specific words are an unfortunate coincidence of the randomization and we are working through our options to try to get them removed as quickly as possible.”
Johnny shares Lily-Rose with his ex Vanessa Paradis. The pair are also mom and dad to 20-year-old Jack Depp, but Jack does not feature in any of Johnny’s NFTs.
Speaking in a statement when he first launched Never Fear Truth earlier this year, Johnny said of his work: “I’ve always used art to communicate my sentiments and to reflect on those who matter most to me, like my family, friends, and people I admire.”
Buying one of Johnny’s NFTs gives his supporters access to a private Discord group, where fans can collaborate on creative projects. Donations are also made to Johnny’s chosen charities.
“It's a great privilege to be able to thank my fans and support the charities that have meant so much to my family. I'm hoping we can form a new friendship group around these NFTs. My involvement in the NFT space is only getting started,” Johnny added.
Although Lily-Rose did not speak out in the most recent case, she defended Johnny when Amber’s allegations against him first came to light in 2016.
In a now-deleted Instagram post, she shared a throwback photo of the actor helping her walk when she was still a baby, and wrote in the caption: “My dad is the sweetest most loving person I know, he's been nothing but a wonderful father to my little brother and I, and everyone who knows him, would say the same.”
Both Amber and Johnny mentioned the model in the trial, with Amber claiming that Johnny would hide his drinking from his children during a 2013 trip to the Bahamas.
Amber alleged that he was physically abusive toward her while they were on a yacht, and she left with Lily-Rose via helicopter shortly afterward.
Meanwhile, Johnny claimed that Lily-Rose and Amber did not have a good relationship, which is why his daughter missed their 2015 wedding.