Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Tuesday awarded Hollywood star Johnny Depp a gold medal for “merit in public and cultural activities, especially in the field of film art and the promotion of the Republic of Serbia in the world”.
Vucic presented the medal to Depp at a Citizenship Day ceremony in the Serbian capital and also honored Serb political representatives in the Balkans, former Kosovo war veterans and others. Depp, who has been involved in several country-related projects in recent years, including filming scenes in Belgrade for the feature film ‘Minamata’ and starring in the Serbian-produced animated series ‘Puffins Unlimited’, said he was proud to receive the award.
“I sincerely, sincerely thank you, President Vucic, and this medal of merit, if I am given the honor to leave with this, thank you for being so kind as to give it to me,” Depp said.
Depp was at the center of controversy last year when the decision of the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain to give him an award for life achievement was criticized by women’s rights groups after the actor lost the defamation case against a newspaper that published allegations that he had assaulted his ex-wife. Johnny Depp was also warmly welcomed in Serbia in 2010 when he attended the Kustendorf Film Festival and met with then-President Boris Tadic.