Actor Johnny Depp, whose 2016 split from his wife Amber Heard led to a widely publicised divorce battle, has thanked his fans for "trusting him".

Accepting a People's Choice Award for Favourite Movie Icon on Wednesday night, the actor told his audience: "I came here for one reason, and one reason only. I came here for you, the people, who through whatever good times or bad have stood by me and trusted me. Thank you."

"You very graciously invited me here once again tonight. I appreciate it," he continued. "You have no idea how much I appreciate it. I was very deeply affected by the kindness of your recognition and your well wishes to me and my family."

"Why it is especially meaningful for me to be here in front of you is to say thank you and tell you that I truly feel the need to thank you...because in all honesty we all know that none of us, especially me, would not be standing up here if it wasn't for all of you."

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He ended his speech with the words "Give 'em hell, Betty Sue" - a reference to his late mother, Betty Sue Palmer, who died in May 2016 at the age of 81.

Depp and Heard's divorce was finalised just a few days ago, and ended a marriage that had lasted less than two years.

Shortly after their initial separation, Heard accused Depp of being physically abusive during a fight. He denied the allegation.

"Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love," the actors later said in a joint statement.

"Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm."

This article previously appeared in The Daily Telegraph