Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard: Hollywood Experts Discuss Chances of Comebacks After the Trial

The jury now deliberates a verdict in the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. And Hollywood insiders shared their opinions on whether the stars can make career comebacks when it’s all said and done. Keep reading to find out which actor movie industry sources think won in the court of public opinion and who has more work ahead of them.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp hope for career comebacks following their trial
(L) Amber Heard | Cliff Owen/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images (R) Johnny Depp | Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Who could make a comeback in the court of public opinion: Johnny Depp or Amber Heard?

Hollywood sources spoke to Entertainment Weekly about how Depp and Heard performed on the stand. The first source said, “His side probably did the job, but her side did not do the ‘court of public opinion’ job.”

That insider thought Heard’s team was counting on her delivery of testimony. But they found it to be “less believable” than Depp’s and said, “… The cracks are showing.”

But that doesn’t mean they thought Depp was guaranteed a win for his own trial performance. “… For him, again, he’s playing to a crowd. He certainly knows how to ham it up; he is still a movie star,” they said. “But honestly, I don’t think either of them is doing a great job.”

A second source added, “I would say to Johnny, whatever happens in the trial, you gotta play what you’re winning, which is in the public.”

Who has a better chance of making a Hollywood comeback: Johnny Depp or Amber Heard?

The first source who spoke with EW said anyone can rebuild themselves in Hollywood if they have “a long game and a strategic approach.”

They added Depp has a longer career and more connections to fall back on. But they felt it would be best for him to acknowledge he made mistakes in his marriage, even if he continues to deny Heard’s allegations.

“That’s what you have to do in our business. You have to recognize what you did wrong, you have to say you’re sorry, you have to give no other context for that, and you have to learn and show back up,” the source shared. “But if any of that isn’t authentic or real, then it won’t work.”

The second source thought it would be harder for Heard because her career is shorter and she’s already taken a PR hit. They believe she is more at the mercy of the verdict than Depp and “a lot more dependent on the outcome of the trial.”

“If she wins the trial, I think she’s pretty much vindicated and it’s going to be hard not to hire her,” that source said.

Which side might has more work to do for a comeback: Johnny Depp or Amber Heard?

Both sources agreed Heard had more trouble from a PR standpoint throughout the trial, pointing to her choice to axe her crisis team.

The first source said, “You can tell she’s had different people advising her on the crisis side. They needed to ingratiate her because she never ingratiated herself, period, ever. So that’s a deficit to begin with, when you’re up against a major movie star anyway, even if he might be a trash human being.”

But that individual didn’t think PR strategy was the only thing that worked against Heard. “Things like the donations, the fact that she didn’t donate, there are things like that she could’ve easily done to clean up her side of the street before this,” they said. Notably, the Aquaman star said she could not keep up with her donations because Depp sued her.

On the other hand, Depp’s text messages containing violent language about his ex and photos which she claims show injuries he gave her have completely turned some off. Insiders guess some big studios might continue to keep their distance from him, regardless of the verdict in the defamation trial.

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