Johnny Depp Cameo in Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show, Explained

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Johnny Depp will appear in Rihanna’s next Savage X Fenty fashion show, which streams on Amazon Prime on November 9.

Depp will be the first male celebrity to have a “star” moment in one of Rihanna’s lingerie brand’s catwalk shows.

Why we care: This is Depp’s most high-profile appearance in his Hollywood comeback after winning his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard in June 2022. Rihanna has faced backlash for the decision.




  • Depp was awarded $15 million in damages after a U.S. court found that Heard could not substantiate allegations of domestic abuse she made in an op-ed in The Washington Post.
  • Since the verdict, Heard’s lawyers have called for a retrial. Depp has been making his return to the entertainment industry with upcoming movie roles and an appearance on the MTV music video awards.
  • After winning the trial, Depp made an Instagram statement that currently has over 19 million likes — becoming one of the most popular Instagram posts of all time. (By comparison, Heard’s Instagram post has a little less than 500,000 likes.)
  • However, some celebrities removed their likes on Depp’s post after certain court documents were unsealed in August.
  • Depp had previously lost a 2020 libel case in the UK after he sued The Sun newspaper for calling him a “wife-beater.” The trial was not televised and ruined ruined his reputation until he faced Heard in court earlier this year.

Grand Scheme of Things

  • Some Rihanna fans were upset by her decision to include Depp in the show, citing that the singer had herself been a victim of domestic violence by ex-boyfriend Chris Brown.
  • The annual Savage X Fenty catwalk event has been hailed as the progressive, feminist answer to the former Victoria’s Secret fashion show and some fans do not think Depp’s cameo reflects these values.
  • However, some internet sleuths have pointed out Depp’s cameo may not have been Rihanna’s decision and could be a business collaboration. Luxury conglomerate LMVH owns Savage X Fenty. Depp is the spokesperson for Christian Dior’s Sauvage, the world’s best-selling fragrance that is also owned by LMVH.

The Future

  • Depp’s televised defamation case against Heard was dubbed “the trial of the century” and the court proceedings hooked social media users. In the trial by TikTok, Depp’s performance in the court won the internet (the hashtag #justiceforjohnnydepp has 21.7 billion views).
  • Depp’s cameo in Savage X Fenty show is a sign that the star’s rehabilitation into Hollywood is in full swing and online criticism is unlikely to stop his comeback.