What did Ulrika Jonsson say about Johnny Depp? Cannes comments on ovation for actor’s comeback movie

TV personality Ulrika Jonsson had some choice words for Johnny Depp fans at Cannes

Ulrika Jonsson criticised attendees at Cannes Film Festival for ‘fawning’ over Johnny Depp following the debut of his new film Jeanne du Barry. It comes days after Cannes juror Brie Larson was taken aback when asked if she would watch Depp’s new film.

The French period drama, in which Depp plays King Louis XV, received a seven-minute standing ovation when it opened Cannes on 16 May - Depp and other cast and crew were in the audience at the premiere.

The former Gladiators presenter wasn’t happy about what she saw as the rehabilitation of an actor who had been the subject of domestic abuse allegations by his ex-wife Amber Heard - allegations which a UK judge found to be substantially true.

Ulrika Jonsson and Johnny DeppUlrika Jonsson and Johnny Depp
Ulrika Jonsson and Johnny Depp

What did Ulrika Jonsson say about Johnny Depp? 

Writing in her regular column for The Sun, the same paper that Depp lost a defamation suit to in 2020, she said that Heard had presented testimony of many incidences of abuse during the US trial last year.

Jonsson fumed that despite showing no contrition, fans are ready to welcome Depp back into the fold because ‘they just love Johnny.’ 

She added: “Men behaving badly are not only attractive but they are so easily forgiven… Depp may have won his case in the States but not his case against this newspaper, who stated he was a “wife beater”.

Maïwenn and Johnny Depp in Jeanne du BarryMaïwenn and Johnny Depp in Jeanne du Barry
Maïwenn and Johnny Depp in Jeanne du Barry

She also pointed to other high-profile men who have maintained a film career despite instances or allegations of abuse, naming Will Smith, who smacked Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars, and Roman Polanski, who pleaded guilty in August 1977 to having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

The article has divided opinion online - several shared the story on Twitter and voiced their agreement with Jonsson, though others denied that Depp was an abuser, pointing to his victory in the 2022 defamation trial.

What has happened to Johnny Depp since his trial?

Allegations of Depp’s domestic abuse were first made when Heard filed for divorce in 2016 - things escalated when Depp sued The Sun newspaper for defamation over a headline branding him a ‘wife beater’. He then sued Heard over an op-ed she had penned for the New York Times where she discussed her experience of domestic violence. 

Depp lost his legal battle with The Sun, which later doubled down with a front page reading ‘He is a wife beater’. However, jurors found that Heard had defamed Depp in her New York Times article and she was ordered to pay him $10 million in damages. Heard was awarded $2 million in damages for her countersuit over defamatory statements made by Depp’s lawyer.

As a result of the year’s long debate over Depp’s conduct, both in a legal setting and the court of public opinion, the star has suffered a huge fall from grace. He was eventually dropped from the Fantastic Beasts franchise and Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movies - the two franchises have collectively grossed more than $6 billion.

Jean du Barry is Depp’s first film role since 2020 drama Minamata, and Cannes 2023 marked his first red carpet appearance since his US defamation trial last year. He has no other confirmed upcoming projects.

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