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Johnny Depp gets emotional during acceptance speech at People's Choice Awards

The past couple of years have not been easy for Johnny Depp: He underwent an acrimonious divorce from Amber Heard in 2016 and lost his mother in 2015.

But through it all, as he acknowledged at the People's Choice Awards Wednesday night, he's always had the love of his fans.

"I came here for one reason," he told the audience as he accepted an award for Favorite Movie Icon, his 14th. "I came here for you, the people who through whatever good times or bad have stood by me, trusted me."

He added, "I was very deeply affected by the kindness of your recognition and by the well wishes to my family and to myself, which is why it's especially meaningful to me to be here in front of you and say thank you," the actor told the audience as he accepted an award for Favorite Movie Icon.

It was the most exposed we've seen Depp in a while, getting emotional on stage at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles while speaking.

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He added, "I truly feel that need to thank you because in all honesty we all know that none of us, especially me, wouldn't be standing up here if it wasn't for you tonight."

Depp, 53, and Heard, 30, were married for 15 months. She filed for divorce in May 2016, and accused him of domestic abuse. The pair agreed on a $7 million settlement, which would be donated to charity. The divorce was finalized last Friday, Jan. 13.

Christopher Polk / Getty Images
Johnny Depp raises his award and gives a shout-out to his late mother.

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And if that wasn't enough to keep Depp on edge, the loss of his mother (who died at age 81 in May, 2015) is also clearly on his mind. He ended his speech with a shout-out to her: "Give 'em hell, Betty Sue!" he cried, then headed off the stage.

Here's hoping 2017 smiles brighter!

Follow Randee Dawn on Twitter.

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