Johnny Depp, whose image was savaged in his bitter divorce from actress Amber Heard, got a shot at redemption last night (Jan. 18) at the People’s Choice Awards. He thanked fans for sticking by him during “bad times” in a humbling and mumbling speech.
Depp, 53, was honored with the “Favorite Movie Icon” award, which goes to a “star that shines so bright you enchant people all over the world,” said presenter Jada Pinkett Smith.
The award was a surprise in more ways than one. It was presented at the end of the two-hour broadcast unannounced. Even more surprising, Depp was there to accept it.
He traditionally shuns awards shows and wasn’t pre-announced as a guest, but not this time.
“I came here tonight for one reason and one reason only: For you the people,” he said.
“[Through]good times or bad, have stood by me and trusted me. You very, very graciously invited me here once again tonight, so I appreciate that very much. You have no idea how much I appreciate it,” he said.
Depp mumbled at times and spoke in broken sentences, but made sure the audience knew he was “very deeply affected by the kindness of your well-wishes to my family and myself.”
“It’s especially meaningful for me to be here in front of you to say thank you and tell you that I truly feel that need to thank you, because in all honesty, we all know that none of us, especially me, wouldn’t be standing up here tonight if it wasn’t for you.”
The implications of his remarks were clear.
He met Heard on the set of his movie bomb “The Rum Diary.” He split from Vanessa Paradis, his partner of 14 years and mother of his two children and married Heard, 30, who is more than 20 years his junior.
Their marriage ended last May when Heard accused him of domestic abuse and filed court papers to end their 15-month marriage.
Later, Heard released photos of her bruised face and a video showing Depp drinking and trashing the kitchen in their home in a rage.
The divorce was finalized days before his appearance.