Hollywood star Johnny Depp’s win in his defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard on Wednesday will help send him straight back to the Hollywood A-list.

One reputation management consultant even believes Depp’s movie career will “sky rocket” and could even become “the highest paid actor ever.”

Alexandra Villa of In House PR feels Heard and her team “face an uphill battle” to recover in the near future, but could too rebound as “Hollywood loves a comeback”.

Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages in his defamation suit by the jury.

The jury also awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages.

Depp sued Heard for $50 million after she wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post in 2018 in which she called herself a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Heard countersued Depp for $100 million.

PR expert Villa, who has represented Oscar nominated stars and films over two decades, said: “There is an argument that Johnny is now once again one of the world’s most bankable stars.

“His career is going to skyrocket. He not only has the heart of the consumer in his hands, he may be able to pick and choose some of the biggest movies coming out in the next few years.

“He could become the world’s highest paid actor ever..

“Johnny has made Hollywood studios billions of dollars over the past few decades. That is why he has 40 years of work and projects beloved by the audience.

“An example, I feel, in the public’s support is his fragrance Sauvage selling record amounts.

“And the TV networks are playing the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies here in the US again one right after another.

“In the eyes of the majority of the public, he has suffered and exposed his life of misery and challenges in his relationships at times. “Johnny had to put his whole life out for public scrutiny, good and bad, but he did it not for the money, but for his reputation to be restored.

“Johnny also did this for his kids to clear his name in public.”

Asked whether she thinks Disney will rehire him for their planned Pirates Of The Caribbean reboots, Villa replied: “He was the golden boy for Disney when the Pirates films made billions, so never say never. At the end of the day money talks and profits talk.”

However Villa admits Heard’s future will be challenging, but her acting career could rebound. She cites scandal hit stars like Mel Gibson, Robert Downey Junior and Michael Jackson as examples of stars who’ve recovered from potentially career ending issues.

“Amber’s career appears to be in crisis right now. What has happened will frighten the big Hollywood studios. Smaller productions too will be wary about investing money into Amber for any project.

“In my opinion, at this moment, producers will have to consider carefully whether they will hire her as the momentum of public opinion has shifted against her.

“People forget Hollywood studios are businesses.

“They hire stars on whether they will bring in profits or not. She has a mountain to climb. Much of her testimony has holes in it and she may need to address those issues.”

Depp too enjoyed a huge public in person support outside the courthouse in Virginia

Villa, who runs In House PR, says: “The crowds outside the court too show how there is huge public swell of support for Johnny. And there are 4.5m who signed a change.org petition asking for Amber to be removed from Aquaman 2.

“As a publicist handling talent when you learn of this, you know that is the audience right there.

“People who take time to write letters or join petitions are the people who care – it is a case of the ‘consumer has spoken.’

“And that is a real problem for Amber’s PR team if they want to help get her back into significant projects.

“But we must remember this is Hollywood, which is one of the most forgiving industries. Time and time again we have seen people caught in seemingly PR peril come back from dire situations. And in this town everyone loves a comeback. The dust needs to settle.

“Amber is a beautiful girl, who could thrive given the right project.”

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