Johnny Depp made an appearance on the red carpet at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival where he was met with an outpouring of love and support from many fans. At this point, Depp's ongoing legal issues with ex-wife Amber Heard have been very well publicized, causing many major movie studios to keep their distance from the actor. Despite the controversy, the KVIFF organizers invited Johnny Depp to honor the actor and stood by the decision when some people cried foul.
"We're convinced that there is something called 'presumption of innocence' that should be respected," said artistic director Karel Och before Depp's arrival. "If you enter certain discussions without thinking about the presumption of innocence, you can take it way too far, to a place which has nothing in common with why we're inviting the person. We're happy to have such a huge star in the festival, but he comes as a filmmaker, to support his work."
Depp has since made it to KVIFF, and the fans in attendance were thrilled to see him. Photos and videos of fans cheering Depp's arrival are spreading on social media with thousands supporting the appearance. In one particular viral video floating around on Twitter, Depp can be seen in the backseat of a car flashing a thumbs up to some nearby fans. With the former Pirates of the Caribbean actor close enough to hear them, one fan clearly states, "Johnny, we believe you. We believe you, Johnny."
Depp, clearly moved by the support, grabs his heart and offers his thanks to the fans. He leans out and says, "You're warriors. You're all warriors. You're all amazing soldiers. Thank you. Bless you."
Another video reveals Depp's initial arrival on the red carpet with the onlookers greeting him with tremendous applause. Depp flashes smiles and waves to the fans cheering for him, and at one point, a close-up shot reveals the actor mouthing the word, 'Wow.' The actor must certainly be aware of the online support he's been consistently receiving, but it seems that even he was surprised to see such a large crowd rooting for him in person.
This all stems from the very public feud between Depp and Aquaman actress Amber Heard, with whom he had a brief but tumultuous marriage. After the pair divorced in 2017, Heard would later claim that Depp had been physically abusive to her during their marriage. Depp says the allegations have cost him major roles in the Pirates of the Caribbean and Fantastic Beasts franchises. He filed and subsequently lost a libel lawsuit against a British tabloid that called him a "wife beater" because of the accusations, though he has a pending lawsuit against Heard personally in the United States.
During this legal battle, Depp's lawyers have publicly released evidence that has helped convince many fans that he's innocent of the allegations. This includes audio recordings of Heard allegedly admitting to being violent toward Depp and police body cam footage that seems to contradict one allegation of domestic violence. Fans have since petitioned for Heard to be fired from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, albeit unsuccessfully, and have consistently been calling for #JusticeForJohnnyDepp by supporting him on social media.
Depp's latest movie, Minamata, doesn't have a release date yet set in the United States by MGM. The director and Depp both have suggested that the studio is intentionally burying the movie because of the actor's "boycott" in Hollywood. Depp has certainly suffered some pretty big career setbacks over the past couple of years, but film festivals like KVIFF standing by him could put him on the right track back to Hollywood. You can find out more about festival at the official website for Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.