While much of his dirty laundry was aired...the star appeared to make strides towards turning his career around
2022 was a big year for Johnny Depp. In April, his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard finally went to trial following numerous delays. Although much of his personal drama was broadcast for the world to hear, he came out mostly victorious, with the jury ruling in his favor.
What it all means long term -- and the court of public opinion -- remains to be seen but Johnny set out to take on the rest of the year with opportunities from modeling to music and apparently even a short-lived romance.
Here’s everything important that happened for Johnny Depp this year…
Johnny Depp Wins Defamation Trial Against Amber Heard
In April 2022, proceedings for Johnny Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard's defamation trial began after many delays. The legal battle spanned all the way back to 2018 when Amber published an op-ed in the Washington Post, writing about what it was like as a woman coming forward with allegations of domestic violence.
Although she didn’t mention Johnny’s name, he sued her for $50 million on the grounds of defamation, requesting punitive and compensatory damages. Amber went on to file her own countersuit in August 2020, accusing Johnny of orchestrating “a false and defamatory smear campaign” against her with his defamation lawsuit.
When the case finally went to trial in 2022, both Johnny and Amber took the stand, sharing their perspective on their tumultuous relationship. During Johnny’s testimony, he maintained that he had never hit Amber and instead, claimed that she gave him a “shiner” during their honeymoon. Meanwhile, Amber testified that he slapped her during the trip and later claimed that he sexually assaulted her with a liquor bottle and threatened to kill her.
After six weeks of testimony and wall-to-wall media coverage, the jury ruled unanimously in favor of Johnny, saying that Amber made her allegations "with actual malice." They also awarded $10 million dollars to Johnny in compensatory damages, plus $5 million in punitive damages. Since there's a cap on punitive damages in Virginia, Amber will only pay $350,000 of that $5 million. Meanwhile, the jury decided statements made by Johnny’s lawyer Adam Waldman were defamatory -- and awarded Amber $2 million in compensatory damages.
Depp had previously lost an earlier lawsuit he took in the UK over the same article that appeared in The Sun.
Johnny Depp Releases Music With Jeff Beck
While awaiting the jury’s decision, Johnny turned to music and was captured by fans while performing with friend Jeff Beck in England. The appearance marked the first of numerous collaborations throughout the year, including a 13-track album titled “18” that they released in July. The album consisted primarily of cover songs as well as two songs penned by Johnny. Then in October, the duo kicked off a joint U.S. tour which ran through November.
Soon after Johnny’s trial wrapped up, he made his debut in Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Vol. 4 fashion show on Amazon's Prime Video, which debuted November 9. In his 40 second appearance in the show, Johnny could be seen emerging from behind a tree and grinning at the camera while walking through a group of dancers.
While Rihanna didn't specify why she invited Johnny to take part in the show, many fans were not pleased to see the actor appear after facing such serious allegations. Johnny didn’t speak out about the backlash but did later thank Rihanna for the invitation.
Johnny Depp Reportedly Begins Dating His Former Attorney Joelle Rich
In September, rumors surfaced that Johnny was dating Joelle Rich, his former attorney. The British lawyer had represented the actor during his libel case against The Sun in 2018 -- and fans noticed when she attended his defamation trial this year, despite not taking part in the case. While it’s unclear what exactly happened between the pair, their relationship had ended by November.