Johnny Depp will appear in the fourth edition of Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty fashion show, NBC News has confirmed. News of his cameo was met with backlash by some online, who have called on Rihanna’s brand to #DitchDepp.
Rihanna’s 40-minute show will stream Wednesday on Amazon’s Prime Video, which described the program in a news release as “a seductive fashion fever dream.” The backdrop is a forestlike setting, and various celebrities — including dancers, models, singers and actors — make appearances.
Many online have been divided in their sentiments toward Depp after he won his defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard in June. Heard, whom he married in 2015 and divorced in 2017, published an op-ed essay in 2018 calling herself a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” A jury found that she defamed Depp in saying he had abused her over the course of their relationship. The jury also awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages for a defamatory statement Depp’s former attorney made about her.
In 2020, Depp lost a libel case in the United Kingdom over allegations that he had hit Heard. Depp sued the parent company that owns The Sun, and the newspaper’s executive editor, for calling him a “wife beater” in 2018. Justice Andrew Nicol ruled against Depp, saying The Sun had presented substantial evidence to show that he was violent against Heard on at least 12 of 14 occasions.
After the U.S. trial, Depp said in a statement that he felt like the “jury gave me my life back.”
On Thursday, the official Savage X Fenty account was flooded with tweets criticizing Depp’s cameo, which was first reported by TMZ.
“We will boycott the show if Johnny Depp is in it,” a Twitter user said.
“Delete the Johnny Depp scene now if it ever existed,” another wrote.
Representatives for Amazon Prime and Savage X Fenty did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A representative for Rihanna also did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A representative for Depp declined to comment.
Some fans expressed their disappointment in Rihanna, noting Depp’s participation appears to be a sharp contrast from Savage X Fenty’s brand, which has been known for its diversity and inclusion efforts.
“If Johnny Depp has any part in this, I will no longer support the brand,” a Twitter user wrote.
Others online appeared to be confused by the reported cameo, citing Rihanna's previous relationship with Chris Brown. In 2009, Brown was arrested and accused of physically assaulting Rihanna, his girlfriend at the time. He pleaded guilty to felony assault and completed probation in 2015. The two have since split, and Rihanna welcomed her first child with the rapper A$AP Rocky in May.
Depp is not included in a recent Amazon Prime news release about the show, of which Rihanna is the executive producer and creative director.
Celebrities listed as making special appearances include: Ángela Aguilar, Avani Gregg, Bella Poarch, Cara Delevingne, Damson Idris, Irina Shayk, Joan Smalls, Kornbread, Lara Stone, Lilly Singh, Marsai Martin, Precious Lee, Rickey Thompson, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Simu Liu, Taraji P. Henson, Taylour Paige, Winston Duke, Zach Miko “and many more.” They will all be “wearing the newest Savage X Fenty looks,” the news release, from Oct. 22, says.
Depp is featured around 20 minutes in, when he walks toward the camera as Outkast’s “So Fresh, So Clean” plays in the background. Some leaked images of the cameo circulated on Twitter on Thursday.
Since the trial concluded, Depp has appeared at the MTV Video Music Awards, where he surprised the audience by showing up as the Moonman. He also announced a summer 2023 European tour with his band, Hollywood Vampires, and he is set to direct a movie for the first time in a quarter of a century.