It seems that the circus atmosphere of Johnny Depp’s lawsuit against U.K. outlet The Sun is over and done. There are no more followers lingering in the courtrooms and Depp’s moved on to spend some time with his pal Keith Richards, if reports can be relied upon. But the case isn’t over and done with yet. In fact, we’re still waiting on a verdict and it could be a little while before the matter is officially resolved.
As of last week, both sides had presented evidence about Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s former relationship. The libel lawsuit came about after Johnny Depp sued following one The Sun headline referring to him as a ‘wife beater.’ Heard had previously alleged and reiterated the allegations of abuse by Depp during the current case. From his side Johnny Depp has admitted to using drugs during their relationship but never to being abusive.
Now, we wait, and if reports are any indication, it could be some time before Justice Andrew Nicol weighs in on the matter. Per Variety, a verdict is not expected to come down until September and could take a while longer. In U.K. court systems, the burden of proof is reliant on the defense, which is different than in the U.S. Andrew Nicol will need to go through the multiple days of testimony highlighted above before deciding how to proceed with a verdict.
This court case is important for a second reason, as well. Johnny Depp is also suing Amber Heard in the U.S. There, the actress penned an op ed about abuse that ran in the Washington Post. While that op ed doesn’t specifically name Depp, the actor believes his name was implied in her allegations, which he says then cost him a job in Disney’s lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Thus, he’s suing for defamation.
Pirates of the Caribbean came into play briefly in this court case, as well, as Amber Heard alleged Johnny Depp basically took her "hostage" during a break from the franchise's filming in 2015. Meanwhile, the Disney franchise has moved on seemingly without Depp. The franchise is being rebooted with Margot Robbie in a storyline separate from that of Captain Jack Sparrow. So far, Johnny Depp has remained attached to another franchise, Fantastic Beasts, which has a third movie in the works.
There's a lot riding on the outcomes of the libel case and the separate defamation case, though the stories that have come out of the first case may already have an impact on careers, no matter the ultimate conclusion. Stay tuned until (at least) September.