A jury’s finding that both Johnny Depp and his ex-wife, Amber Heard, were defamed in a long-running public dispute capped a lurid six-week trial that also raised questions about whether the two actors can overcome tarnished reputations.
The verdict handed down Wednesday in Virginia found that Depp had been defamed by three statements in an op-ed written by Heard in which she said she was an abuse victim. The jury awarded him more than $10 million. But jurors also concluded that Heard was defamed by a lawyer for Depp who accused her of creating a detailed hoax surrounding the abuse allegations. She was awarded $2 million.
Depp had hoped the libel lawsuit would help restore his reputation. However, legal and entertainment experts said that both actors’ reputations have been damaged by ugly details about their brief marriage that came out during the televised trial watched by millions.
“Both of them will work again, but I think it will be a while before a major studio will consider them ‘safe’ enough to bet on,” said former entertainment lawyer Matthew Belloni, who writes about the business of Hollywood for the newsletter Puck. “The personal baggage that was revealed in this trial was just too icky for a studio to want to deal with.” | More On France24.com