Amber Heard is officially the most-Googled celebrity in America for 2022, thanks in large part to her televised defamation trial with ex Johnny Depp.
She may not be well-liked, but at least people find Amber Heard interesting. According to a New York Post report, the Aquaman actress managed to notch a win, although it wasn’t the legal one she had hoped for: she was the #1 most searched celebrity on Google in the United States, using data from the celebrity gossip site Celeb Tattler as a basis. She topped an impressive list of 150 celebrities and notables, including her ex-husband Johnny Depp, proving that controversy will get you clicks.
The defamation trial between Depp and Amber Heard – which was televised beginning in April, was social media fodder for months, as fans from both sides argued in support of their side and even more fans gathered outside the Virginia courtroom where the trial took place. The circus-like atmosphere surrounding the trial skyrocketed interest in the 36-year-old Austin, TX native, as Amber Heard has averaged 5.6 million Google searches a month this year to take the top search ranking spot.
Johnny Depp himself didn’t do too bad either in the rankings, coming in second to Amber Heard with 5.5 million average monthly searches on Google. However, in 34 out of 50 states, Depp managed to be the most searched celebrity, even if Heard won the volume war.
The trial ended June 1 with Depp winning on all of his claims, as the jury awarded him $15 million in damages, claiming Amber Heard willingly defamed him with untrue claims of abuse. Head herself won $2 million in a countersuit, as the jury found the Depp’s attorney made defamatory statements against the actress to the press.
The controversy of the trial spawned a number of rumors and speculative reports, which likely spurred Google searches, including the rumor that Heard’s role of Mera would be cut out of the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom to avoid fan backlash.
The end of the trial didn’t end the interest in the pair. Much of that fueled by Depp’s public actions coming across as a victory lap of sorts. While Johnny Depp is living his best life, including appearing in Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty fashion show and considering the next step in his revitalized career, Heard is living a quiet life, out of the public view and even out of the country, as she now lives in Spain.
The actress has been silent on social media since June 1, when she published an open letter responding to the verdict. One wonders how much more Google traffic Amber Heard would have generated had she continued to post on sites like Instagram.
Even though she has stayed silent, she recently received an outpouring of public support from feminist icon Gloria Steinem and other activists and academics, who signed an open letter calling for an end to her public ridicule and offering their support.
It wasn’t all controversial figures like Amber Heard dominating Google searches. Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September, came in third place with 4.3 million searches each month on average, followed by Tom Brady in fourth place, and exes Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson placing fifth and sixth. The new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, managed to take seventh place with 3.19 million searches a month.