Actor Johnny Depp’s Hollywood career is being linked to the ruling of his libel case against a British newspaper which labelled him a ‘wife beater’.
British judge Andrew Nicol to deliver the judgment on Monday (November 2) which would decide whether the UK tabloid’s article caused ‘serious harm’ to Depp’s reputation and whether the allegations made by the outlet were substantially true.
If Depp loses, his reputation will be severely damaged and he may struggle to land major film parts in future, according to the commentators.
The 57-year-old Hollywood star sued the media group and one of its journalists Dan Wootton over a controversial article which stated Depp had been aggressive towards his ex-wife Amber Heard, which questioned the actor’s casting in the ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’ movie franchise.
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp have appeared to give evidence before the judge during a three-week hearing at London’s High Court, laying bare their tempestuous private lives and making serious allegations of domestic abuse and drug-taking.
Depp and Amber first met while making ‘The Rum Diary’ in 2011 and tied the knot in 2015, but Heard filed for divorce 15 months later.
The ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star told the court he was never violent towards his ex-wife.
Denying the allegations, the actor said that she was lying, and she had attacked him on numerous occasions. He even went on to say that he lost the tip of a finger after she threw a vodka bottle at him during one ferocious row.
On the other hand, Heard said Depp would turn into a jealous alter ego, ‘the monster’, after taking drugs and alcohol. He had often threatened to kill her, she told the hearings, detailing 14 occasions of extreme violence when she said the actor choked, punched, slapped, head-butted, throttled and kicked her.
Nicol will hand down his judgment on November 2 at 10 am. (1000 GMT). The ruling will be delivered remotely and no event will take place at the High Court building.
According to report, if Depp wins, his lawyers have argued he would be “entitled to very substantial damages as only a substantial award can start to compensate him for the damage and distress the Defendants’ appalling allegations have had and ‘nail the lie’.”
They said in practice there was a ceiling on general damages of between $391,000-$423,600 but argued Depp should also receive aggravated damages, saying the Sun’s response to his claim had added to the ‘harm, distress and need for vindication’.
If he loses, his reputation will be severely damaged and he may struggle to land major film parts in future, commentators say.
On top of the London action, Depp has also filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard in a Virginia court over an opinion piece she wrote in a newspaper.