Johnny Depp is sending love and respect to his fans as a way of thanking them for the support during what has been an incredibly difficult year. While 2020 has been downright awful to so many of us, things have gotten even worse for Depp heading in recent weeks. After losing his libel lawsuit against The Sun last month, the actor suffered another major blow to his career when he was asked by Warner Bros. to resign from his lucrative role as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3.

Things may not have gone Depp's way here lately, but the former Pirates of the Caribbean star is still feeling optimistic about things turning around soon enough. Posting a photo to Instagram, Depp wrote a holiday message to his fans, seemingly keeping his spirits bright despite his recent legal troubles.

"This year has been so hard for so many," Depp writes in the caption. "Here's to a better time ahead. Happy Holidays, everyone! My love and respect to you all. Eternally, JD."

In the photo, Depp can be seen chumming it up at a bar with the Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan. The picture appears to be taken from the set of a new documentary about the musician that Depp produced. Called Crock of Gold - A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan, the movie was released this month and is now playing on demand and in select theaters.

One of the world's most popular actors, Depp's movie career first began to experience some turbulence after ex-wife Amber Heard published an op-ed for The Washington Post in 2018 describing herself as a victim of domestic abuse. The allegations reportedly led to Disney dropping Depp from his longtime role of Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Depp fired back by suing Heard for $50 million for defamation in 2019. He also sued The Sun publisher News Group Newspapers in the U.K. for publishing an article referring to him as a "wife-beater." During the course of the legal battles, Depp's legal team released audiotapes of Heard allegedly admitting to getting violent with Depp. The tapes played a big part in swaying the public opinion back onto Depp's side, proving Depp's counter-claim that Heard was the abusive one in the eyes of many fans.

Perhaps Disney and Warner Bros. are no longer willing to work with Depp, but his fans have made it clear that he still has their support. One viral fan petition is calling for Heard to be fired from her role as Mera in Aquaman 2, and with more signatures getting added every day, the petition is now approaching two million names. Other popular petitions have demanded Disney and Warner Bros. give Depp back his roles in Pirates of the Caribbean and Fantastic Beasts 3. Fans have also consistently been showing their support for Depp on social media using the hashtag #JusticeForJohnnyDepp.

This month, Depp fans were at it again by creating "Deppcember" in protest of Heard's new show The Stand premiering on CBS All Access. In an effort to take the focus away from The Stand, fans were instead streaming Depp's movies on various streaming services and posting about it on social media.

As far as the legal battles go, Depp is appealing his loss in the U.K. against News Group Newspapers, and his lawsuit against Heard in the U.S. will be heard in 2021. No matter what happens at court, it would seem that his fans are going to stick with him every step of the way. This news comes to us from Johnny Depp on Instagram.