The lost libel case battle of Johnny Depp against British newspaper The Sun — a temporary setback or a permanent demise of his career?
Johnny Depp, known for playing the character of Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates Of The Caribbean, lost a courtroom battle in a libel action case that he filed against the New Group Newspapers over an article published by one of its agencies, The Sun, referring to him as a ‘wife-beater’.Johnny Depp, known for playing the character of Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates Of The Caribbean, lost a courtroom battle in a libel action case that he filed against the New Group Newspapers over an article published by one of its agencies, The Sun, referring to him as a ‘wife-beater’.
The agency was sued by Depp for defamation who asserted that this reference could spoil his reputation as an actor and impact his career. The defendant argued that Depp controlled as well as verbally and physically abused his ex-wife Amber Heard between 2013 and 2016, particularly under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Depp had vehemently denied all the accusations citing them as a “hoax” and accusing Heard of being an aggressor in the relationship. He claimed that irrespective of his intoxicants consumption he would never engage in violence, especially with the women.
The British High Court on Monday returned the verdict and the suit was dismissed for which a trial took place in the month of July. Both Depp and Heard had submitted their evidence in the case, and their friends, family, and staff were called as witnesses.
Justice Andrew Nicol considered the fact presented by The Sun in its article to be “substantially true” and therefore declared that “The Claimant has not succeeded in his action for libel”. The case’s dismissal by the court is being seen by many as the victory of Heard, who was ironically not an official party to the case but was the “effective opponent”.
Is Depp’s Career Over?
This case was not the beginning of Depp’s misery, rather it was just a catalyst. Depp has lived his life in a lavish and romanticized manner with an abundance of alcohol and drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy. His opulent life comprised private islands, penthouses, multiple homes, and colossal wine bills.
From his fortune being allegedly siphoned off by his business managers to experiencing rehabilitation, Depp’s life was constantly in turmoil. His hedonistic lifestyle and loaded career as a Hollywood actor had turned him into a brand that is thriving even at the age of 57.
Many would consider this lost battle as a sign of the diminishing career of Depp where his image is tarnished beyond repair. The upcoming movies and endorsements could be perceived to be at risk as a result of this infamous trial. Certain questions can be raised on the future of his endearing partnerships and his credibility as a brand, but the short-term memory of the audience is something he can definitely rely on.
Watch: Johnny Depp Loses Case – Verdict Breakdown
Taking an example of stars like Robert Downey Jr. and Sean Connery, who suffered a setback in their career but found their way back into the movie business, we can comfortably assume that Depp has a striking chance of making a comeback post this defeat and shining as an actor for the rest of his career in Hollywood.
The case might keep Johnny Depp away from an Academy Award but doesn’t decide the future of his career.
The Warner Bros franchise of Fantastic Beasts is expected to cast Depp in its third movie. Also, Disney’s decision on casting Depp in the reboot of Pirates Of The Caribbean is still unknown. The clarity on these unascertained roles and subsequent performances would help revive the tainted brand of Johnny Depp.
The outstanding performance of Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow and Gellert Grindelwald has won too many hearts to be hated and rejected over a lost court case. Even though this loss is more of a temporary setback than a permanent demise of Johnny Depp’s career as an actor, the response of the audience is yet to be seen.
This article is contributed by Shivani Gual.