Johnny Depp Does His Jack Sparrow Voice for Fans Gathered Outside Courthouse

Johnny Depp stirred up his fans outside the courthouse last week during his ongoing lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard. A viral video from the scene shows Depp arriving at court in a black SUV to the sounds of cheering fans. When one fan called out the name of his Pirates of the Caribbean character, Captain Jack Sparrow, he responded in the character's distinctive voice.

Depp rolled the window down to greet fans in the short clip, which is still making the rounds on social media. One fan shouted: "We adore your hair!" and the 58-year-old actor responded by shaking his ponytail at them. The onlookers cheered, and another emboldened fan said: "You'll always be our Captain Jack Sparrow!" Putting on the carefree tone and slight slur of the character, Depp said: "He's still around somewhere. I see him now and again. He shows up now and again."

The absence of Captain Sparrow from theaters in the last half-decade is a part of the reason for Depp's lawsuit. He is accusing Heard of defaming him in an article she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018. While the article does not name Depp or give any identifying details, it was about her experience of domestic violence, and since Depp was her only ex-spouse at that point, Depp argues that it was unmistakably about him.

Depp and Heard began dating in 2011, married in 2015 and divorced in 2016. At the time, they both accused each other of abuse in various forms, but they settled the divorce amicably in January of 2017. They issued a joint statement saying that "there was never any intent of physical or emotional harm" between them." Depp's legal team argues that Heard contradicted this statement in her 2018 op-ed, damaging Depp's career in the process.

Depp last played Captain Sparrow in 2017, in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales — the fifth movie of that franchise. Rumors have long indicated that a sixth movie was on the way and that Depp would not be in it. Depp said as much last month during his lawsuit against Heard. He has also lost a prominent role in the Fantastic Beasts franchise and, he argues, potential income from other avenues. However, even if Heard's writing did contribute to those business decisions, it does not legally meet the definition of defamation unless Depp's team can convince the jury that Heard's characterization was untrue — something Depp failed to do in his other recent lawsuit in the U.K.

The Depp v Heard trial is nearing its end. The final day of testimony is scheduled for Friday, May 27, at which point the jury will go into deliberations. Depp is seeking $50 million in damages, and there's no telling which way this case might go.