The interview marked Depp’s first conversation with the press since he lost a libel suit last November to another U.K. outlet, The Sun, which referred to Depp as a “wife beater” in an article about him and his ex-wife Amber Heard. Heard accused Depp of domestic violence, and the judge overseeing the libel case found that the paper’s claims that Depp was abusive toward Heard were “substantially true.”
Following that ruling, Depp resigned — at the urging of Warner Bros. — from his role in the Fantastic Beasts series. And MGM, the studio behind his movie, Minamata, changed the film’s U.S. release date to “TBA” and has yet to announce a new one (it is being released in the U.K.).
In Minamata, Depp plays W. Eugene Smith, a photojournalist who helped expose the effects of mercury poisoning on Japanese communities in the Seventies. Alluding to the film’s message, and ostensibly the inability for it to reach U.S. audiences, Depp told The Sunday Times: “Some films touch people and this affects those in Minamata and people who experience similar things. And for anything … for Hollywood’s boycott of me? One man, one actor in an unpleasant and messy situation, over the last number of years?”
Elsewhere in the interview, Depp spoke about the aftermath of the libel suit and trying to navigate the “absurdity of media mathematics.” He also seemed to suggest he was working on clearing his name, saying, “But, you know, I’m moving towards where I need to go to make all that… to bring things to light.”
As USA Today noted, Depp also thanked his fans for sticking with him, saying, “They have always been my employers,” Depp said. “I’m proud of these people, because of what they are trying to say, which is the truth. The truth they’re trying to get out since it doesn’t in more mainstream publications. It’s a long road that sometimes gets clunky. Sometimes just plain stupid.”