The beleaguered Hollywood star, 58, was back in the spotlight following a high-profile and highly acrimonious libel battle against British newspaper The Sun and ongoing legal proceedings with ex-wife Amber Heard.
However the negativity that has surrounded Depp over recent months did little to deter his die-hard fans as they gathered for a glimpse of the fabled American actor in northwestern France.
Main man: Johnny Depp was centre of attention for the right reasons on Sunday evening as he attended the premiere of his latest film at the 47th Deauville Film Festival in France
Depp was on hand to promote City Of Lies, a retrospective drama based on the unsolved murder of ’90s rap giants Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G, out of competition at this year’s ceremony.
Greeting onlookers with a disarming wave, the enigmatic star looked delighted to be back on a red carpet after a year beset by court action and the rapid global spread of COVID-19.
Between obligatory photo opportunities Depp ensured there was time to chat with fans and oblige them with autographs ahead of his latest screening.
Here he comes: The negativity that has surrounded Depp over recent months did little to deter his die-hard fans as they gathered for a glimpse of the fabled American actor in northwestern France
Busy man: Depp was on hand to promote his latest big screen offering, City Of Lies
Pleased: The enigmatic star looked delighted to be back on a red carpet after a year beset by court action and the rapid global spread of COVID-19
The much-delayed City Of Lies first premiered in 2018, out of competition, at the Noir in Festival in Italy.
It received a limited release in Italy and was initially intended to be released in the US in September 2018, before being hit with delays and ultimately getting a release across streaming platforms in March.
The film offers its own version of events into the drive-by shooting of Christopher Wallace – better known as the Notorious B.I.G – in 1997.
Depp plays a retired detective who is convinced the crooked Los Angeles Police Department played a part in the rapper’s murder.
City Of Lies is directed by Brad Furman and based on the book, LAByrinth, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Randall Sullivan.
Dapper: The actor opted for a smart two-piece tuxedo suit for his latest public appearance on Sunday evening
The appearance comes after Depp was cleared by a court to proceed with a $50 million defamation suit against Amber Heard.
Last month, a Virginia judge ruled that he can proceed with the litigation, based on a 2018 Washington Post op-ed she penned saying she was a domestic violence survivor.
She did not mention Depp in the story, though she publicly accused him of abusing her in their 2016 split.
Finishing touch: He rounded off his red carpet look with a raffish wide-brimmed hat
The actor is trying to clear his name after losing a defamation suit against The Sun after the paper branded him a ‘wife-beater’ amid allegations of domestic abuse.
His suit, filed in Fairfax County, Virginia, accuses Heard of creating a ‘hoax’ account; Heard had requested the libel suit against her, filed in March 2019, be thrown out, claiming the ruling in the UK case should swing any new cases in her favour because they both relate to domestic abuse allegations against Johnny.
But Judge Penny Azcarate ruled the statements made by The Sun and Amber were ‘inherently different.’
Dramatic: In City Of Lies, Depp plays a retired detective who is convinced the crooked Los Angeles Police Department played a part in the rapper’s murder
The ruling stated: ‘The Sun’s interests were based on whether the statements the newspaper published were false.
‘[Heard’s] interests relate to whether the statements she published were false.’
The ruling also noted that Depp filed the defamation suit against The Sun before Heard’s op-Ed was published – and that she was not named in the case against the British paper.
Sue: Depp has won the right to sue Amber Heard (pictured in November 2011) in a $50 million libel case after a Virginia judge threw out the actress’s plea to dismiss the suit
In the December 2018 op-Ed, the actress wrote: ‘I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.’
The UK’s High Court ruled against Depp following an explosive three-week trial last July, finding allegations the actor was a ‘wife beater’ were ‘substantially true.’
Lawyers for The Pirates of the Caribbean star had asked two Court of Appeal judges to grant permission for him to challenge the ruling, with the aim of having its findings overturned and a second trial ordered.
They claimed the judge in Depp’s initial libel trial had not ‘factually’ considered all the allegations of violence against him and that they had ‘fresh evidence’ Amber had ‘lied’ about giving her entire $7 million divorce settlement to charity.
They said that the charity claim influenced how her testimony was viewed, but the Court of Appeal ruled that it did not have an impact on the judge and that he would have reached the same conclusion on Heard being the victim of domestic violence.