The libel trial between former spouses Johnny Depp and Amber Heard blew up into a public quagmire, with accusations of both Depp and Heard being abusive in their relationship. The Pirates of the Caribbean star ultimately sued UK newspaper The Sun for indicating he was a "wife beater" in one of their headlines. Depp had denounced the label and said that the publication had committed irreparable harm to his character and career.
Prior to the court proceedings, several high profile actors, actresses, and even former significant others of Depp stepped forward in order to testify on behalf of his character with them in an effort to combat the notion he had been physically abusive towards Heard. As the trial went underway, however, text messages, photos, and evidence came to light that were not in Depp's favor.
The court ruled that there was significant evidence to suggest that Depp and Heard were abusive to one another both verbally and physically. Depp had severed his own finger tip and wrote messages in blood to Heard on the walls of their home, was found guilty of grabbing Heard by her hair several times, starting fights needlessly, and hitting her "hard and repeatedly" before attempting to push her down the stairs.
The ruling ultimately "tanked" Depp's career, getting him removed from Warner Bros.' Fantastic Beasts series as Grindelwald, with one studio head calling the actor "radioactive" to work with now.
Which is why people are absolutely "baffled" by Dior's decision to stand by Johnny Depp, despite the judge who oversaw the 57-year-old actor's case calling him "a monster."
Commercials for Sauvage after shave continue to feature Depp and a variety of domestic abuse groups have spoken out against the brand's decision to maintain their working relationship with the Edward Scissorhands star. Domestic abuse lawyer Rachel Horman-Brown spoke with the Daily Mail stating his partnership with Dior was an "insult."
"I think it's extremely disappointing and irresponsible of Dior – especially when we are looking at a situation that isn't just an allegation anymore. The courts made a finding about him and what happened in their relationship. We heard reams of detailed evidence and testimony from the people involved. The decision was made by the courts that Depp was abusive towards his partner and could be called a 'wife beater' and yet, notwithstanding that, Dior continues to use his advert; it is almost condoning abuse and violence against women," she said.
Brown also added that the "timing" of the advertisement couldn't be any worse considering that the number of domestic abuse cases has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic and specifically during lockdown periods. "It is particularly disappointing given domestic abuse increased massively during lockdown. The rate of women being murdered has gone through the roof, so the timing of this is horrific."
The denizens of social media have voiced their displeasure at Dior for including Depp in its ad campaign, but it does seem that it's in Sauvage's best interest economically speaking to keep its relationship with Depp intact. Sauvage sales, according to The Guardian have "skyrocketed" since Depp's trial went public.
And while there are a number of people who expressed their displeasure at Dior deciding to stick by Depp, there are also tons of people who are happy that the actor is maintaining his relationship with the brand.
Some have even mentioned that their decision to purchase Dior's Sauvage line is to draw attention to the fact that men can be victims of domestic violence, echoing Sharon Osbourne's idea that Heard "gave as good she got" in her relationship with the star.
It seems that the old adage, "there is no such thing as bad publicity" is true. While Depp could definitely have a career in advertising with Sauvage, it seems like studios at the moment won't hire him.