Last year a US jury found that Heard had defamed the Pirates of the Caribbean star in an article in which she called herself a victim of abuse.
It came after a UK court ruled that an earlier article, which described him as a wife beater, was accurate.
Depp spoke to the BBC as he appeared at the Cannes Film Festival.
His role as Louis XV in the French language film Jeanne du Barry, which opened the prestigious French film festival, is widely seen as his big comeback.
It is his first major role since losing his part in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, following a High Court libel trial over a Sun newspaper article which claimed he had assaulted Heard.
He lost the case, with a judge finding that the newspaper article was "substantially true".
Interviewed by Tom Brook of BBC's Talking Movies, Depp said: "Comeback is a weird thing because... I didn't go anywhere.
"People may have made sure that I was not looked at favourably - powerful press, powerful media, for whatever reasons."
Conflicting accounts of Depp and Heard's five year relationship were heard during the two court cases, with both accusing the other of misbehaviour and violence.
Depp strongly denied his ex-wife's claims that he had subjected her to emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
After losing the defamation case in 2022 over an article she wrote for the Washington Post, Heard said she has lost faith in the US justice system.
Depp told the BBC people should look at their own family members before they judge him.
"I suggest before people start pointing fingers and making judgement on others that they have no idea about, I would say, everybody, take one day off of work, stay at home, start your investigation of everyone in your family," he added.
"Start with your father. Look way back. Dad always been just a wonderful guy, has he? Your uncles, look at your brothers. Look around you first before you start passing judgement on someone that you have no idea what that person has been through, who they are."
At the height of his courtroom battles with his ex-wife, the future of Depp's movie career appeared to be in jeopardy.
But before the premiere of his latest film at Cannes on Tuesday, he was met by large numbers of fans for whom he signed autographs and took selfies.
Jeanne du Barry tells the story of a woman - played by director Maïwenn - born into poverty who becomes the French king's final mistress.
The film received a standing ovation but critics have been more lukewarm in their assessment, with some stating he looked uncomfortable in the role.
His presence at Cannes and the inclusion of his new film has been criticised by supporters of Heard, leading to the hashtag #CannesYouNot on social media.
However festival director Thierry Fremaux has strongly defended his choice to include the film and many have welcomed Depp's return.
Asked about being a controversial figure, Depp said he had been considered controversial throughout his career.
"I was probably more far more controversial many years ago than anything now," he added. "But things go in whatever direction they go, more than anything all the weirdness has been cleared up, so it's done.
"I'm certainly not gonna allow this thing to define anything that I've done before, anything that I'm doing now or what I'm going to do - it doesn't exist for me."
A jury found that Heard defamed Depp in a Washington Post article, following a six week trial in the US state of Virginia last summer.
Jurors awarded him $15m (£12m) in compensation and punitive damages.
The Aquaman actress settled the defamation suit for $1m (£820,000) but said it was "not an act of concession".
"Even if my US appeal is successful, the best outcome would be a retrial," she said. "I simply cannot go through that."