The verdict in what is known as the Libel Trial of the Century comes on Monday – but don't imagine this is the end of that awkward but irresistible drama starring Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. By far not.
While a costly end may be in sight for News Group Newspapers, the editors of The Sun, which Depp sued over a 2018 article calling him the "woman's thug," much more is to come.
Depp is suing Heard for libel in another US defamation lawsuit for $ 50 million (£ 39 million). He will meet with their lawyers in ten days to testify.
And it may turn out to be suing an astonishing $ 100 million (£ 78 million) for him and his legal team launching a global smear campaign against her.
The verdict in the so-called Libel Trial of the Century comes on Monday – but don't imagine that this is the end of that awkward but irresistible drama starring Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. Not long, writes ALISON BOSHOFF
It's a skirmish that will be as dejected and filthy as the jaw-dropping action in the High Court this summer, which saw stories of "dirty protests," drug and alcohol attacks, and violent, bloody fighting spilling over the world.
Both parties want this upcoming action to be the final say on the extremely toxic split.
In a sensational development last week, Depp's smooth-speaking attorney Adam Waldman – a controversial figure who is also a close personal friend – was dismissed from the case by the judge for serious misconduct.
What is the truth about Depp's "dirty" campaign – and who is likely to win after this legal marathon?
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE COURT ON MONDAY?
Johnny Depp, 57, sued News Group Newspapers over a 2018 article in The Sun questioning his casting on the Fantastic Beasts series, calling him a "bully" – which he vigorously denies.
This July, both Depp and Heard, 34, testified before Judge Andrew Nicol during a three-week hearing in the London High Court.
Depp told the court that he had never been violent towards his ex-wife and that she had attacked him several times.
He said he lost his fingertip after she threw a bottle of vodka at him in a wild row.
Heard said Depp would turn into "the monster" after consuming drugs and alcohol, and had threatened to kill her many times.
She described 14 cases of violence when she said the actor choked, hit, hit, bumped his head, throttled and kicked her.
Depp is suing Heard (center) for libel in another US $ 50 million (£ 39 million) trial in America. He is scheduled to meet with her lawyers in ten days to testify
The couple met during the 2011 film The Rum Diary and married in February 2015, but Heard filed for divorce 15 months later.
Judge Nicol will give his judgment on Monday November 2nd at 10am on whether the article is essentially true and whether it is doing serious damage to its reputation.
Typically, a physical copy of the verdict is passed on from the court clerk to reporters in court.
However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the verdict will be passed remotely and no event will take place in the High Court building.
It can be viewed on a website. If Depp wins, his lawyers have argued that he is entitled to "very substantial damages".
Both Depp and Heard have plans to make a statement – Depp through his attorney and Ms. Heard through her PR firm Powerscourt.
Ms. Heard had agreed to an interview with ITN, but has since withdrawn.
SO WILL THIS APOLOGY BE SAGA ABOVE THEN?
No. In addition to the London lawsuit, Depp has filed a defamation lawsuit against Heard for $ 50 million (£ 39 million) over an opinion piece she wrote in the Washington Post in 2018.
It was headed: “Amber Heard: I spoke out against sexual violence – and faced the wrath of our culture. That needs to change. & # 39;
Depp believes this article cost him his role as Capt Jack Sparrow in the planned sixth episode of the mega-budget franchise Pirates Of The Caribbean.
He is forced to stop filming Fantastic Beasts 3 in the UK to present his evidence to their Virginia attorneys for three days from November 10-12.
The case is then set to run for three weeks in May next year, after months of legal back-and-forth with the two parties and their shooting schedules, as well as delays from Covid.
It's a skirmish that will be as dejected and filthy as the jaw-dropping action in the High Court this summer, which saw stories of "dirty protests," drug and alcohol attacks, and violent, bloody fighting spilling over the world
In her article, Heard described herself as a survivor of domestic violence. Depp was not named.
In December last year, her lawyers said she had only given an opinion based on her experience and should be protected by the first change in the US – the right to freedom of expression.
She tried – unsuccessfully – to dismiss Depp's case, and Judge Bruce White noted that Heard is becoming a public figure portraying domestic abuse. .
This will be a judicial process – as opposed to the High Court's action.
It will be in the suburbs of Washington in Fairfax County, as this is where the Washington Post is printed.
Heard attorney Roberta Kaplan said, "We remain confident that Ms. Heard will prevail in court if evidence is presented to the jury on the issue identified by the court – namely, whether Ms. Heard was molested by Mr. Depp."
Heard's team accused Depp of trying to evade them.
They said he told them he wasn't available for a deposit until late February 2021 – but spent part of September attending various film festivals during the breaks.
AMBER BLASTS & # 39; DEPP SMEAR CAMPAIGN & # 39;
Meanwhile, Amber is suing Heard Depp.
She says he threatened to kill her before they were married, physically abused her during the marriage, and continued to harass her with a lawsuit and smear campaign labeled "willful, malicious, and elaborate".
The "dirty campaign" has charged her with perjury and "joking" allegations of domestic abuse.
Her lawyers say it was "an attempt to ruin her life and career just because she was the victim of domestic violence and violence from Mr. Depp and had the audacity and boldness to finally come forward".
Two petitions have been organized by Change.org demanding that she be released from the sequel to Aquaman and her lucrative advertising deal with Loreal.
In her article, Heard (pictured with attorney Jennifer Robinson in July) described herself as a domestic violence survivor. Depp was not named
Her lawsuit suggests that the petitions are "well beyond the capabilities of the average internet troll or disgruntled fan," and her team claims that Depp "initiated, coordinated, overseen and / or assisted" them.
They also claim that he or his team created and coordinated social media accounts attacking them and praise Depp's attorney, Adam Waldman.
According to the Heard legal team, these Twitter accounts are "bots" with a tweet-to-retweet ratio that is "implausible" and is intentionally set to inactive to prevent shutdown.
They also republish each other's content in a similar language in a way that is "contrary to human control".
In documents filed in August, she notes that the most prolific accounts routinely retweet statements from Waldman and that "dozens, if not hundreds" of Twitter accounts praise and abuse him.
Some of them are foreign with Cyrillic signatures "that reflect Russian origins".
The counterclaim states: "Mr. Waldman, Mr. Depp's lawyer, has publicly contacted Russian persons who are able to organize such attacks."
It adds that "concerted efforts to harm Ms. Heard" included numerous "false statements" about her.
This includes a GQ interview with Depp from November 2018 in which he denies attacking her.
It also includes several tweets from Waldman – most of them during the July trial – stating that Heard is a "serial liar" and accusing her of "joking".
Waldman also told a website, The Blast, that she “painted on bruises” and that she and her friends redesigned an apartment and lied about her injuries to make it look like there was a physical battle there.
Heard suggests that the motif for the campaign was simply an attempt by the falling star Depp to "stay relevant".
THE CHEWBACCA DEFENSE PLOY
Waldman has referred to Heard's counterclaim on Twitter as a "Chewbacca Defense".
This is named after a famous episode in the satirical cartoon South Park in which a lawyer argues, "If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must be acquitted!"
Waldman wrote: & # 39; The & # 39; Chewbacca Defense 'is a legal strategy that uses false and irrelevant nonsense to confuse and distract from the truth.
"Absurd accusations against Russian bots, fake social media accounts," campaigns of terror "- our anti-abuse fraud opponents have been watching @Southpark."
Depp's controversial attorney Adam Waldman was at the center of the London trial
DEATH RISKS AND LADY GAGAS EX
A grim text message Depp sent to Christian Carino, Lady Gaga's ex-fiancé, who is also his girlfriend and agent who abuses Amber and swears eternal revenge, was released as part of Heard's counterclaim.
Her team says the text broadcast in 2016 reveals Depp's "real personality" and is full of "anger, hatred and violence".
It certainly makes an interesting read: Heard is described as a "50-cent stripper begging for total global humiliation," with Depp adding that he would "not touch her with a fucking glove."
And there is more. . . The text continues to describe the former Mrs. Depp as a gold digger, a dozen, mushy, senseless, overused flappy fish market. . . & # 39; and "waste of a goddamn eater".
She is also referred to as "inhuman, foam-filled sucking fish" and "transparent sick one-way F *** in the whore". . . No better than any junkie hooker with bad intentions.
He adds, “I can only hope that karma will kick in and take the gift of breath away from her. . . Sorry man, but NOW I won't stop at anything !!! & # 39;
RUSSIAN OLIGARCH AND THE LAWYER. . .
Depp's controversial attorney Adam Waldman was at the center of the London trial. He went to court with Depp every day and stayed with him at the Corinthia London Hotel.
He was also at Depp's when he was visiting a nearby pub.
The two men have been friends for three years and Waldman has taken legal action against Depp's former manager.
Known for aggressive tweets directed at reporters or media organizations he disapproved of, he often said, "R.I.P." or "In Memoriam".
He has worked as a lobbyist in Washington for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska since 2009 when he helped Deripaska get a visa.
It turns out the metal tycoon paid him more than $ 500,000 (£ 39,000) for a year. According to his firm, Waldman is advising Deripaska firm on legal issues.
Depp is forced to stop filming the UK sequel to Fantastic Beasts 3 in order to present his evidence to their Virginia lawyers for three days from November 10-12
It became known that Waldman made numerous visits to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2017. Waldman was also an advisor to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
According to Denipaska, Deripaska paid Waldman through a number of offshore companies, with the money being routed through Shell companies in the British Virgin Islands, Belize and Jersey.
One of Deripaska's companies, Sea Chaika Corporation, appears in the Panama Papers and deposited $ 85,000 (£ 66,000) in Waldman's accounts in 2010.
Waldman is married to the leading German beautician Barbara Sturm.
The couple attended the Berlin premiere of Depp's film Minimata, and Depp recently took part in an Instagram fundraising live stream hosted by Sturm that featured Bob Dylan's The Times They Are A-Changin & # 39 ;.
. . . Who was thrown out of the case!
Last week, Judge Bruce White dismissed Waldman from Depp's case. He found that the attorney had disclosed confidential information covered by a protection order to the media.
Heard asked for the move, claiming Waldman was responsible for distributing audio recordings, surveillance images and third-party witness statements to websites and Twitter users: "Leading readers and potential judges believe that these statements are kind of official case documents, which they are not . & # 39;
Brown Rudnick's Benjamin Chew, who has been involved in the Virginia case throughout, will lead the team.
Both he and Waldman declined to comment this week. Waldman had protested that Heard's lawyers had done the same.
What has happened since the summer?
Amber Heard was on vacation in Turkey and then returned to Los Angeles to film. She has posted numerous pictures on Instagram with her horses.
Her friend Bianca Butti, a director, made a movie in Vermont.
Depp was in Europe, mostly in London. The filming of Fantastic Beasts 3 is in full swing. He has also been to two European film festivals.
Gina Deuters, the girlfriend of his assistant Stephen, has posted pictures of him in a private jet and on the red carpet in the past few weeks.
AND IS THE ULTIMATE WINNER. . ?
The stakes are high – a heavy loss with millions in damages and fees could bank any half of this former couple.
You could imagine Depp being better able to weather the financial storm, but as he pointed out in court, he "lost" 500 million pounds and is said to be on the verge of bankruptcy in 2018.
Since then, he has taken on a number of lucrative film roles, making up to £ 40 million for Fantastic Beasts films.
You could imagine Depp being better able to weather the financial storm if he loses trial, but as he detailed in court, he "lost" 500 million pounds and is said to be on the verge of bankruptcy in 2018
He owns several properties with a total value of £ 30 million. These include five houses in the Hollywood Hills valued at £ 15 million, a property in France and a private island in the Bahamas.
However, Heard is demanding huge damages and compensation in the Virginia case.
Both of them have long fostered nervous images, but both have been damaged by global public relations about their drug and violence-filled marriage.
As always, the attorneys may be the only winners: Even before these lawsuits, there was a so-called "Johnny Depp trial," which related to the numerous lawsuits he filed and cost many millions of dollars.
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