Rihanna has found herself at the centre of controversy after it was revealed that Johnny Depp will make a cameo in the upcoming Savage Fenty X Vol 4 fashion show.
It was first reported by TMZ that the actor would appear in the fashion show, set to air on Prime Video on 9 November.
The Independent has confirmed Depp’s name features in the show’s end credits.
The news of the actor’s cameo comes after Depp’s high-profile legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard concerning a 2018 op-ed written by the Aquaman star concluded earlier this year, when a jury ruled that Heard had defamed Depp when she alleged he had abused her during their marriage.
As a result of the June ruling, which concluded the six-week trial, Heard was ordered to pay Depp $10m (£8m) in compensatory damages and $5m (£4m) in punitive damages. The jury also awarded Heard $2m (£1.6m) in her counterclaim that she was defamed by one of Depp’s lawyers.
The details of the former couple’s marriage, and each moment of the lengthy trial, also played out on social media, where fans followed along with intense scrutiny.
Follow along with the latest updates below.
Johnny Depp will appear in Rihanna’s upcoming Savage x Fenty fashion show
Depp’s cameo has been labelled “problematic” by Rihanna’s fans
Backlash over actor’s upcoming cameo comes as Depp appeals ‘erroneous’ verdict awarded to Heard
09:17 , Peony Hirwani
Producer Drew Dixon expressed her disappointment over Depp’s involvement in the Fenty show.
“Johnny Depp has been embraced as a hero by unhinged right-wing misogynist extremists, and now he’s been invited to appear in the @SavageXFenty show. Never expected such a powerful woman to succumb to the #MeToo backlash. Really disappointing,” she wrote.
Johnny Depp has been embraced as a hero by unhinged right-wing misogynist extremists, and now he's been invited to appear in the @SavageXFenty show. Never expected such a powerful woman to succumb to the #MeToo backlash. Really disappointing @rihanna https://t.co/cU882vMiC6
— Drew Dixon (@deardrewdixon) November 3, 2022
08:30 , Peony Hirwani
Although much of the reaction to the casting has been negative, not everyone has been critical of Rihanna’s decision to feature Depp in the show.
According to one fan of both Rihanna and Depp, the singer’s decision is the latest in a string of “successes” for the actor.
I’m feeling so passionate about Johnny Depp and his rise from the ashes today. I’m just so proud of him. Sold out shows, a bunch of other successes, and today this new thing with Rihanna. 🏴☠️
— 🏴☠️🔮Lily Magick🕯🏴☠️ (@JDisALegend2022) November 3, 2022
Rihanna’s fans upset over Depp’s involvement in Fenty show
07:46 , Peony Hirwani
Rihanna’s fans are upset over Depp’s involvement in the Fenty show.
“Rihanna is a billionaire, so that’s strike one. One minute she’s not performing at the Super Bowl in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and the next minute she’s announcing she is and for some reason she invited Johnny Depp to be part of her show. Morals where?” writer Najma Sharif wrote on Twitter.
Another person added: “Rihanna inviting Johnny Depp to her show is so, so f***ing weird. Not a single billionaire on this planet with decency and she’s keeping up the trend sadly.”
Johnny Depp makes cameo in Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty show
06:15 , Peony Hirwani
ICYMI: Earlier reports had suggested that Depp would be the focus of the show’s “star” moments. In the past, celebrities such as Cindy Crawford and Erykah Badu have appeared in this capacity.
What legal battle was Johnny Depp involved in earlier this year?
05:05 , Peony Hirwani
Earlier this year, Depp was embroiled in a high-profile legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard concerning a 2018 piece published by The Washington Post. Depp’s legal team claimed that the op-ed, written by Heard, had defamed him by implying that he had abused Heard when the pair were married.
A jury ultimately found that Heard had defamed Depp, and ordered the Aquaman star to pay Depp $10m (£8m) in compensatory damages and $5m (£4m) in punitive damages.
However, the jury also awarded Heard $2m (£1.6m) in a simultaneous countersuit, ruling that, in characterising her abuse allegations as a “hoax”, one of Depp’s attorneys had defamed her.
Heard is set to appeal the verdict, with lawyers arguing that the two rulings handed down by the jury were contradictory.
Olly Alexander vows to ditch Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty brand after Johnny Depp confirmed as showcase guest
04:00 , Peony Hirwani
Olly Alexander has reacted to the news that Johnny Depp will make a featured appearance in Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Vol 4 fashion showcase.
On Thursday (3 November), Alexander responded with a sad face to a Pop Crave tweet that read: “Depp will become the first man to have his own spotlight segment at Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty fashion show.”
A fan replied to the British singer’s apparent upset over Depp’s cameo confirmation, writing: “But, Savage X Fenty is you baby... you wear it so well.”
“Thank you but after this news I won’t be wearing it anymore,” the Years & Years singer replied.
01:34 , Chelsea Ritschel
As of now, Rihanna has not addressed the backlash. However, she has been active on social media, with the singer posting a TikTok reaction to her new song “Lift Me Up” on Twitter.
On Instagram, the billionaire beauty mogul shared a series of photos of herself posing on the beach in a white satin corset gown.
Thursday 3 November 2022 22:34 , Chelsea Ritschel
As noted by TMZ, Depp will become the first male “star” in Savage x Fenty’s history with the cameo. In regards to what viewers can expect to see, the outlet reported that the vibe is “cool and chic”.
Thursday 3 November 2022 21:50 , Chelsea Ritschel
Photos shared on social media claim to show a first-look at Depp’s cameo in the fashion show, in which the actor can be seen wearing a check-patterned shirt, a green jacket and multiple necklaces.
— ReemDepp - #JohnnyDeppKeepsWinning (@ReemDepp) November 3, 2022
Thursday 3 November 2022 21:32 , Chelsea Ritschel
While all of the details about the “star” role Depp will have in the upcoming show have not been released, TMZ reported that the cameo was orchestrated by Rihanna and her team, who “invited Johnny to be a part of it”.
“Both sides were super excited to make it happen,” the outlet stated, citing sources.
According to TMZ, Depp, who will appear in items from the Savage x Fenty men’s collection, does not walk the runway.
Thursday 3 November 2022 21:21 , Chelsea Ritschel
Ahead of the 9 November release of the fashion show, a number of celebrities, including Bella Poarch, Joan Smalls, Simu Liu, and Irina Shayk, all of who make appearances in the upcoming Savage x Fenty show, attended the Savage X Fenty Show Vol 4 premiere in Simi Valley, California.
Thursday 3 November 2022 21:09 , Chelsea Ritschel
On social media, fans have begun urging others to use a hashtag to share their disappointment with the actor’s cameo, in the hope that Rihanna will reverse the decision to star Depp in the fashion show.
“RETWEET and REPLY to this tweet with ‘Drop Johnny Depp from the Savage X Fenty show’ with the hashtag #AmberHeardDeservesBetter,” one person tweeted Thursday. “Amber Heard deserves the same support she’s shown so many others. She deserves solidarity from fellow survivors, not betrayal. She deserves better.”
RETWEET and REPLY to this Tweet with “Drop Johnny Depp from the Savage X Fenty show” with the hashtag #AmberHeardDeservesBetter
Amber Heard deserves the same support she’s shown so many others. She deserves solidarity from fellow survivors, not betrayal. She deserves better. pic.twitter.com/Bky545pAqi
— Kylie 🕰✨ (@purpleforamber) November 3, 2022
Thursday 3 November 2022 21:04 , Chelsea Ritschel
The criticism over the show hasn’t just been contained to fans on social media, as Olly Alexander, who has partnered with Rihanna’s fashion brand in the past, has announced he plans to cut ties with the company over Depp’s inclusion in the show.
On Thursday, the British singer reacted to a tweet about Depp’s upcoming cameo with a sad face, prompting a fan to reply: “But, Savage X Fenty is you baby... you wear it so well.”
In response, Alexander said he would not be wearing the brand moving forward. “Thank you but after this news I won’t be wearing it anymore,” the “Years & Years” singer replied.
Thursday 3 November 2022 20:58 , Chelsea Ritschel
Amid the brand’s latest controversy, fans have claimed Savage x Fenty is “too big of a brand to be using controversy to sell”.
“Every year something happens and we say it’s a mistake or ‘they didn’t know’ and still defend y’all but this time it’s no ‘mistake,’” one person wrote, adding that Depp’s upcoming cameo is “so disappointing”.
y’all are too big of a brand to be using controversy to sell… every year something happens and we say it’s a mistake or “they didn’t know” and still defend y’all but this time it’s no “mistake”… this is so disappointing @rihanna @SavageXFenty
— mariyam ᱬ (@rihstahlker) November 3, 2022
Johnny Depp files appeal against Amber Heard verdict
Thursday 3 November 2022 20:39 , Megan Sheets
Amid the controversy over Johnny Depp’s Savage x Fenty cameo, the actor has taken the next step in his appeal of the $2m verdict a jury awarded to Amber Heard in their bombshell defamation trial last spring.
In an appellate brief filed Wednesday in Virginia’s Court of Appeals, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor called the jury’s judgment awarding money to Ms Heard “erroneous”.
It marks the latest development in the explosive legal battle between Ms Heard and Mr Depp, who had sued his ex-wife for defamation over a 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post where she described herself as a victim of domestic abuse and spoke of feeling “the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out”.
The Independent’s Andrea Blanco has more:
Thursday 3 November 2022 20:20 , Chelsea Ritschel
Since the earlier reports of Depp’s cameo were confirmed, hundreds of fans have expressed their disapproval of the casting.
The growing criticism comes in contrast to reactions to the previous three Savage x Fenty shows, as the annual event had become known as an entertaining and inclusive experience.
However, as Rihanna fans have noted, the past Savage x Fenty fashion shows haven’t been entirely without controversy, as the singer faced accusations of cultural appropriation after models wore braids during the 2021 show.
In 2020, Rihanna also apologised for the “honest, yet careless mistake” of using an Islamic song during the lingerie show.
Thursday 3 November 2022 20:09 , Chelsea Ritschel
You can read more about the details of the actor’s upcoming cameo below.
Thursday 3 November 2022 20:08 , Chelsea Ritschel
The upcoming show, which has been described as a “fashion experience,” is expected to be a star-studded affair, with performances by Anitta and Burna Boy and cameos from Cara Delevingne and Irina Shayk.
Thursday 3 November 2022 19:48 , Chelsea Ritschel
The uneasy response to the actor’s role in the upcoming Savage x Fenty fashion show has focused largely on the “problematic” nature of the casting, with many questioning why Rihanna chose to extend her platform to Depp.
“Rihanna can’t be serious? With all these beautiful and unproblematic men in Hollywood, and Johnny Depp is the one that appeals to you the most?” one person wrote.