Johnny Depp's ongoing legal situation is the sort of thing that would probably make for a powerful movie, and now the drama has intensified as it appears that Depp's libel lawsuit will now be going forward with several of the actor's exes in attendance. A judge has ruled that Amber Heard, who is in the middle of a lawsuit with Depp over claims of defamation, can attend the court proceedings against The Sun for libel, even when she's not there to give evidence.
Johnny Depp is suing The Sun for libel after the UK paper referred to the actor as a "wife beater" in a 2018 story. The language was used in regards to claims from Amber Heard that Depp had been abusive, thus her testimony is going to be key to the proceedings. According to THR, Depp's lawyers had asked that Heard be barred from the courtroom unless she was there to give evidence, arguing that her testimony would be more reliable if she was not present during Johnny Depp's examination. However, the judge has ruled that keeping the actress out of the courtroom would be detrimental to the defense.
This means that at various points during the trial, Johnny Depp could have as many as three different former flames in the audience as, in addition to Amber Heard, Winona Ryder and Vanesa Paradis are expected to testify during the trial. However, while Amber Heard will be testifying for the defense, the other two will be speaking on Depp's behalf. Paradis had previously filed a witness statement in the libel case in which she called the actor "attentive, generous, and non-violent."
Winona Ryder had previously filed a declaration in support of Depp in his other legal battle, a defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard. Depp's suit states that Heard's claims of abuse directly led to the loss of his lucrative role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise from Disney.
With the combination of Johnny Depp's legal issues and the global pandemic the actor's name has been connected more with lawsuits than movies for most of the last year or so., He does have a new film, Minamata, about U.S. photographer W Eugene Smith. It debuted at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year. Whether Depp is truly out of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise hasn't been made entirely clear yet. A new film sans-Depp has been confirmed, but another project is in development and exactly who will appear in that one is not clear.
The libel case was originally planned to start in March, but was delayed due to the global pandemic, the trial is now set to begin on Tuesday. The defamation suit against Heard is set to go to trial in August.