Johnny Depp apologizes for rape remarks

When Johnny Depp compared being photographed to rape in the latest issue of Vanity Fair, RAINN—the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network—took offense. Depp’s original comment explained how he feels doing photo shoots: “Well, you just feel like you’re being raped somehow. Raped. The whole thing. It feels like a kind of weird, just weird, man.” In response, RAINN released the following statement: “While photos may feel at times intrusive, being photographed in no way compares to rape—a violent crime which affects another American every two minutes. RAINN welcomes the opportunity to speak with Mr. Depp and educate him about the real life experiences faced by survivors every day, and ways that he can work with RAINN to help.” Johnny quickly wrote an apology directly to the organization, which read: “Dear RAINN, I am truly sorry for offending anyone in any way. I never meant to. It was a poor choice of words on my part in an effort to explain a feeling. I understand there is no comparison and I am very regretful. In an effort to correct my lack of judgment, please accept my heartfelt apology. Sincerely, Johnny Depp.” Shortly after receiving Johnny’s letter, RAINN spokeswoman Katherine Hull said: “RAINN appreciates and accepts Johnny Depp’s heartfelt apology. We hope to work with him to provide hope to victims of rape and make sure they get the help they deserve.”

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Andrea • October 6, 2011 @ 12:10 AM

    Talk about an overreaction! I don’t think he meant anything by it. And why are they assuming he wants to “work with” them? He apologized, he didn’t offer to donate his time to them.

  2. Karyn • October 5, 2011 @ 11:27 PM

    Love Johnny!! Very Classy and heartfelt apologetic response.

  3. Rita • October 6, 2011 @ 4:57 AM

    Well said, Andrea. At least he gives permission to his photo being taken. Sometimes I love my picture being taken. Other times I dont. I know exactly how he feels.

  4. Barbara Enright • October 6, 2011 @ 8:50 AM

    Anyone in their right mind would know that Johnny Depp did not mean to offend anyone while using the term Rape in the manner he did.

    While rape is indeed a horrific crime – this is a ridiculous “overraction” and shame on this organization bringing light to this subject in such a childish manner….there are far more important things to be spending their time and efforts on.

    “Fooling comments from this organization”!!

  5. Kelly Miller • October 6, 2011 @ 9:37 AM

    I hope the people of the “RAINN” organization can put their good work to better use. This is Foolish!
    If they want to bring attention to RAINN….find a better way!!

  6. David • October 6, 2011 @ 10:06 AM

    Just ridiculous. Take a look in a dictionary. Rape has multiple meanings and anyone with any logic in their head would know what he was saying.

  7. janet • October 6, 2011 @ 10:59 AM

    RAINN is truly pathetic!!! Johnny used the word in the context of feeling violated by the photographers…. which I can completely understand. Maybe RAINN should apologize to him for trying to make him feel guilty enough to be a RAINN spokesperson because that’s what it looks like to me…. shame on them!

  8. BM • October 6, 2011 @ 11:15 AM

    Why do they make a mountain out of a mole hill when JD makes a comment. He was telling the truth on how he felt. Just as another commenter David said, Rape has many meanings. Personally I am sorry Johnny feels that way. I for one can never tire of looking at him.

  9. Ophelia • October 6, 2011 @ 11:15 AM

    Perhaps he should have said, “experienced unwanted frottage” – would that have made the objectors feel better?

  10. jjjones • October 6, 2011 @ 11:25 AM

    Although I feel this was a slight overreaction, I have to pull back and think about how actual rape victims might feel about this. I would like to hear their thoughts on whether they feel is was just a poor choice of wording and move on. I think it’s it a matter of think before you speak and in this case, I’m sure Johnny didn’t mean any disrespect and his apology should be enough.

  11. Darcy` • October 6, 2011 @ 11:27 AM

    Interesting you all have sympathy for Johnny Depp?? Have any of you ever gone through something as violent as rape? Now I know he did not mean to offend anyone on purpose. But if someone has been violated in this manner they most certainly could be very sensitive to his words.

  12. Kim • October 6, 2011 @ 11:44 AM

    Although as noted he didn’t mean it to be offensive to anyone. It is another showing of how people in the spot light don’t think before they speak. I agree with jjjones about hearing how a rape victim feels about this. Until it happens to one of us I don’t think we can call it an over reaction to something that was said. Until we walk a mile in their shoes let’s keep the negative comments to ourselves.

  13. Dave • October 6, 2011 @ 12:40 PM

    What an overreaction… He apologized, now go pound sand somewhere else!

  14. Bug • October 6, 2011 @ 1:12 PM

    Please………it was a metaphor. People have to much time on their hands. Nice way they tried to corner him into doing work for them. Don’t get me wrong, rapists should die slow painful deaths but come on, leave the guy alone. This is exactly what he meant……right here.

  15. shelly • October 6, 2011 @ 1:21 PM

    I think Johnny Depp was describing his feelings and he was not intending to hurt anyone who experienced rape. Johnny is an actor with a great respect for women, and his intentions need to be remembered.

  16. Terry • October 6, 2011 @ 1:31 PM

    Murder is a worse crime than rape. How many times have we ALL used the term “murder” in a way to describe something horrific? Like….”Oh God, that interview was murder”. But we aren’t celebrities so we aren’t expected to apologize publicly for every misuse of a word. This article is pathetic.

  17. TheTruth • October 6, 2011 @ 2:28 PM

    Darcy’ I believe you’re 100% spot on.

  18. Alice • October 6, 2011 @ 3:27 PM

    Really people have nothing better to do then taking things out of context. No one can say anything anymore without offending someone…REALLY? Give it a rest and help the people that need help and stop watching interviews and over reacting.

  19. Jean Oudy • October 6, 2011 @ 3:34 PM

    I don’t think the RAINN people over-reacted. I’m sure they understood that Mr. Depp wasn’t trying to imply any disrespect to rape victims, but it is important to be sure that rape is not presented as a mere inconvenience or irritation, similar to having one’s picture taken. There are too many people who don’t think rape is such a big deal.

    I must admit that when I read his comment I cringed because I have been raped & it’s something that never leaves you. It’s important that the subject of rape is always presented as it is; criminal behavior that it not acceptable under any conditions.

    Oh, and if I had the chance to suggest Johnny Depp make a free public announcement on behalf of my non-profit organization, I’d do it too! He’s definitely one of my favourite people. 😉

  20. Lisa • October 6, 2011 @ 4:23 PM

    Dictionary definition (besides forced sex): “Any forcible interference or violation, ex: the rape of a countries natural resources” JD used the word correctly and appropriatly.
    Um…people, please stop overreacting. He said nothing wrong and he apologized to those who were offended anyway…I for one, did not find it offensive (and I am a survivor, so please stop speaking for me!) If he had used the term “I nearly died!” would he have to appologize and make ammends to those who have been traumatized in the past by nearly dying? Well, I have nearly died in the past and it was traumatic, but I’ve never once considered demanding an apology from someone who used the phrase in a less serious context! Get a grip!!

  21. Priscil • October 6, 2011 @ 5:21 PM

    I think most people who have written a comment on this incident are not survivors of rape and sexual abuse or incest. If you are, then you would take comments like this more personal I am sure.

    Though it was a very inapporpriate choice of words, and not the first actor to recently be in trouble for a comment like this (Kristen Stewart), I think RAINN was appropriately quick to call him on it and make sure that he had a chance to correct the error. I think it would be a great cause for him to get involved with as he is an actor with much clout in society today.

    RAINN doesn’t deserve to be bashed for how they took the comment and then asking Mr. Depp to help with education. Whenever someone in society makes a comment like that, famous or your everyday person, they need to be educated and should welcome the chance to do whatever they can to help others not make this freudian slip.

  22. Carole • October 6, 2011 @ 5:59 PM

    It is so obvious that this RAINN organization was just trying to advertise itself at the expense of Johny Depp, and also trying to associate their name to his. It’s a shame.

  23. Darcy` • October 6, 2011 @ 6:35 PM

    You know I did not want to share this but I was also someone who has been raped. And like I said in my previous e-mail… I know he did not intentionally say it to offend anyone. Not all women who have been through something as violent as being raped get over it just like that. Do I think it is the worst thing in the world that he used that to describe how he felt about having his picture taken? No. But…. I do think he realized the comparison of having your picture taken was not quite as violent as rape. I’m certainly a fan of his. What I’m not a fan of is how some of you defend him and jump all over organization that wants to help women such as myself through this.

  24. Anonymous • October 6, 2011 @ 6:48 PM

    As a rape victim I can tell he didn’t mean offense and I didn’t take it as offensive. RAINN, in my opinion, is just looking for a celebrity spokesman. He could have chosen a better comparison, yes. But rape is about more than being a violent crime, it’s about being taken advantage of and feeling vulnerable, which I’m sure Depp can understand from having his whole life followed by paparazzi.

  25. Sharlyn Tollefson • October 6, 2011 @ 7:51 PM

    Why doesn’t he donate some of his millions to help victims of “rape”? And I disagree that murder is worse than rape. Unless you can heal and move past rape, it still controls you over and over in your mind, victimizing you over and over again. Once you are dead, you no longer suffer.

  26. khanbouj • October 6, 2011 @ 9:33 PM

    so what? nobody can talk about rape? rape is not only sexual acts, once there have been burglars in my appartment. after investigating, we realised they have been watching us and spying us to know our routine…believe, feels like raped because someone went in your intimacy. I can tell you this is the same as I ‘ve been raped long time ago, and though it’s only stuff stolen, your private life has been denuded without your will! what does Rainn means by «We hope to work with him to provide hope to victims of rape and make sure they get the help they deserve» is he going to threaten him or blackmail him because Depp didn’t chose the word he should have? he only wanted to tell how intrusive it is to be captured in pictures while you don’T want to. to much politically correct in this word……money money…

  27. Pablo • October 6, 2011 @ 10:35 PM

    HUGE over reaction. Like RAINN isn’t just jumping on the situation for publicity. Well, they got what the wanted in the end and that’s all what matters. They can try to hide behind the curtain of “We care about our victims” but that is simply bullshit. Pretending like it wasn’t just some PR rep looking through the paper and seeing that. Thinking to himself “we can use it”. It is a card played by many organizations. They latch onto to someone famous and leech off them for publicity. In the end they always get what they want and the celebrity has to issue some bullshit apology so they don’t have the stigma of the situation attached to them. Sorta like rape, isn’t it?

  28. Catherine • October 6, 2011 @ 10:44 PM

    I totaly love everything ( well what little I know anyway)about Johnny Depp and my very own husband knows he’s my one and only crush (besides my husband of course), but I do have to say “bad choice of the word”. Very classy to apologize and I would believe it was from his heart. I admire him very much for that.
    I coach soccer to a mixed group of kids, ages 7-9 and I had another coach yell to my kids to “rape the net” on the other team. Without loosing my cool I addresses the situation and he is no longer coaching!
    Thank you Johnny for being a classy guy. I guess that is another reason why I love you.

  29. Deborah • October 6, 2011 @ 11:36 PM

    I am a very recent survivor of rape. When I read this it just made me snort and shake my head a bit. I love JD and/but I’m not offended by his remarks. Who knows if any of his loved ones have been through it themselves? I think RAINN is ridiculous to think that JD would do anything for them and I hope he laughs in their face if they ask him. Leave the man alone.

    I also want to say sorry to “khanbouj” whose home was broken into and whose privacy was violated. But that is not rape. Rape is a physical/mental/emotional violation against another persons body/mind and soul. Unless you have been sexually assaulted yourself, you’ll never know how horrible it feels to hear people use the term lighly or tell “funny” rape jokes when they have no idea that you yourself were a victim.

    If JD knew the photographer were a rape victim do you think he would have used that analogy? Just wondering…

  30. SRB • October 7, 2011 @ 12:44 AM

    Why is this comment even an issue? The dictionary has many meanings for this word, “Rape”, like many other words. Anyone who heard or read the interview, would and could clearly take from it, what he meant….when he is followed by the parazzi, he is being violated…as is his family, his friends, his private life………..he is being violated. It may not be in the sense the word instantly provokes, but he is still being violated……and according to the dictionary, he is being “Raped”. There are comments on here by SURVIVORS of the violent act of “Rape” and as far as I am concerned, HATS OF TO YOU, for your courage to come foward, survive and go forward…….and for having enough courage to understand that his comments were meant for what they were, his own violation of his privacy and rights by people who wish to exploite him and his life for their own purposes. May you all find a way to live in peace and without judgement, and judgement of one another, but with the love and support and comfort of your friends and family.

  31. hunh? • October 7, 2011 @ 2:12 AM

    Terry that is such a stupid thing to say, who are you to judge which is worse? Maybe someone should rape YOU and then murder you afterward and you can send us your opinion from the grave.

    Andrea is right..and RAINN’s cheap attempt to get publicity, then turn it around like it’s all good again, “let’s make a deal” is dumb but knowing Johnny Depp who seems like such a good person, he will probably agree to help them somehow. Johnny Depp SO does not seem the type to say such a thing with ill intent. Nowadays it’s scary how badly misinterpreted things can get or just twisted up so badly.
    I think what RAINN presents is truly valuable and they should get support and exposure but not like this.

  32. lol • October 7, 2011 @ 2:13 AM

    Apparently even making a metaphorical statement is ‘offensive’ nowadays. Bunch of hippie pussies this society has turned. Soon it’ll be a crime to say this or a swear tax we have to pay for freedom of speech.

  33. ME • October 7, 2011 @ 3:14 AM

    as a survivor of child hood rape and sex abuse, I find it offensive as to what Johnny said BUT I also know he meant no offence!!

    on the other hand, HE made the choice to be in this business!!! women and victims of Rape DON’T have a choice!! that is what ticks me off about his remarks!!

    if he doesn’t like it…he can leave!! people don’t choose to be “raped” don’t like it…GET OUT OF THE BIZ!!!

  34. ME • October 7, 2011 @ 3:21 AM

    P.S. ~ Murder is WORSE than Rape????? NO WAY!!!

    once you’re gone, you no longer suffer!! that’s it!! but as a victim of rape for nearly 10 years by my step father, its something that takes years to get over!!

    so NO murder is NOT worse!! at least when you die, you no longer suffer from heart ache, night mares and wondering what you did to deserve the hand you were dealt!!!

  35. anonymous • October 7, 2011 @ 6:56 AM

    As someone who has been raped I took no offense to what was said I believe these organizations do whatever it takes to get publicity and that doesn’t help their cause I don’t believe Johnny meant anything by what he said. Yes rape is violent and horrific and nothing like having a picture taken but again I took no offense.

  36. TAC • October 7, 2011 @ 7:22 AM

    All very awesome comments. However I feel that they have taken it to another level by asuming he would work with them and laying a guilt trip. Which is totally taking advantage of the situation. As being raped is also on some level of taking advantage of a person, in a horrific way. He clearly took ownership of his mistake. They should also take ownership of there mistake, and focus on the real issue of helping those that have been tramatized and violated.

  37. Terry • October 8, 2011 @ 1:05 AM

    Hunh? Talk about people taking things out of context…which is what this whole thread is about anyway!!! I didn’t say murder was worse than rape I said it was a worse CRIME than rape. If you murder someone you’ll go away for life. You rape someone and you get maybe a quarter as much time, if that.
    Thank you for your well wishes Hunh….that I will get raped and murdered, but perhaps it will make you feel much better to know that even though I haven’t yet been murdered, I have been raped…and sodomized…at knifepoint…..12years old.
    You’re kind of a sick bitch for wishing rape and murder on someone just because they said something you didn’t agree with.

  38. Mitch • October 9, 2011 @ 1:19 PM

    After reading how Rainn has overreacted to such an off the cuff comment….I would never ever support anything that they represent , they sound like the kind of group that would hall you off to court over the smallest misunderstanding. What is there —-‘in problem.
    I just can’t believe how foolish , and childish this group is. I hope they fold.

  39. The Intolerant • October 9, 2011 @ 8:49 PM

    This is absolutely ridiculous. Why?

    “Mom! Dad! When is dinner ready? I’m starving!”
    Better send an apology to UNICEF.

    “Somebody peed in his Cornflakes!”
    Better call the authorities.

    “I’ve got three exams on the same day. I’m f@cked!”
    Better call Dr. Ruth.

    Depp had to send an apology to RAINN because the world as we know it has gone to literal hell in a handbasket.

  40. Hannah • April 17, 2012 @ 6:05 PM

    After reading everyone’s comments has made me feel different type of emotions some being hurt, shocked, angry etc.

    I being a rape victim myself I did take slight offense but I understood what he meant, he should have described the feeling using different words because using “rape” is insensitive but I understand what he means. I can see both sides of the arguement, I do however feel Rainn are trying to gain publicity. JD seems a really nice guy.

    And for the person to say JD should get out of show biz, its a bit too late for him, he is too famous to live a normal life, he is well known all over the world.

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