Sam Fender has apologized after sharing a photo with Johnny Depp in a Newcastle bar, and describing the actor as a “hero”.
The musician was captured alongside Depp and musician Jeff Beck, who has welcomed the actor on stage during several of his recent UK concerts.
Fender shared the photo on their Instagram stories with the caption “some real heroes.” then apparently deleted the image.
The photograph was shared the night The verdict has been pronounced on the mediatic legal battle between Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard.
In a new Instagram post, Fender opened up about his photography with the star of Pirates of the Caribbeanand said his message had been “naive and disrespectful”.
“I want to apologize,” he wrote. “I was invited to briefly meet a musical legend and an actor who has been in almost every movie I’ve seen growing up.
“I went, we chatted about music and without thinking I took a photo and posted it as it was quite surreal.”
He said the word “heroes” was used in reference to Depp and Beck’s careers, but admitted the context of the trial made him “grossly misinformed”.
Fender continued: “I realize now that it was a poor choice of words and timing, but that’s irrelevant. He was naive and disrespectful to those who relate to any of the issues highlighted in the trial and the broader issues it raises. I didn’t think it through and I should have.
“I really can’t say anything more than it was reckless and I was unaware about the trials as a whole, and [fue] thoughtless about what my post might entail. I fully realize this and for that I am deeply sorry. Sam”.
Depp sued Heard for $50 million over an op-ed Washington Post entitled: “I spoke out against sexual violence and faced the wrath of our culture. That has to change.”
The article does not mention Depp by name, but his lawyers said it falsely implies that the actor physically and sexually abused Heard while they were together.
Heard countersued for $100 million, accusing Depp of orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her and describing his lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment.”
On Wednesday, June 1, the jury shared their verdicts and found that Heard had defamed Depp on all three counts.
The jury found that Heard defamed Depp on all three charges and awarded him $10 million in damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Heard received $2 million in damages, but no punitive damages.