Johnny Depp no longer just ‘pantomime villain’ after ruling, says PR expert

Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent
·2-min read

Johnny Depp’s brand is no longer one of  “pantomime villain” after losing his High Court libel action, a PR expert has said.

The Hollywood star, 57, lost the case against The Sun newspaper for an article which labelled him a “wife beater”.

PR guru Mark Borkowski said the case was “one of the biggest showbiz fails for a long time”.

“He had to win this,” Borkowski told the PA news agency.

“Even if he had won there would still be questions. But now he’s lost he hasn’t even got a Pyrrhic victory.

“He has just switched the volume on (his) lifestyle. And this makes Amber Heard a martyr and it makes him something much darker than just a pantomime villain.”

Borkowski added: “His brand had a sort of edge and that edge now has turned to something that is really ugly and abusive.

“The question is: how the hell does he re-establish himself? Because he’s been involved with some of the biggest franchises going.

“In this new woke world, the culture wars, you do not want to be involved with a story (that) will not go away.

“This is like an indelible stain on his character.”

Actress Amber Heard
Actress Amber Heard (Victoria Jones/PA)

And he added of the case: “It’s a double whammy. It has created so much interest.

“He has not got rid of a substantial slur that, before the case, less people knew about.”

On Depp’s future in film, he said: “Nothing is impossible, write no obituaries for his career.”

Borkowski added: “All those fans, those dedicated fans across the world and those who turned up at the High Court every day, do not underestimate how much they will do.

“They will not accept this judgment. When you’ve got a hard, firm base, you can start rebuilding.”