The verdict in the dispute between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp has been reached. What follows now? The return to the dream factory or more trouble?
Since mid-April, it has been meticulously and relentlessly dissected in front of the public, the shared private life of Johnny Depp (58) and ex-wife Amber Heard (36). It was supposedly clear from the body language of the two stars alone who triumphed as a result of the court verdict and who emerged as a loser. While Heard walked out of the courtroom with his head down and a blank stare, Depp shots around the world showing him boisterously partying with friends.
That Depp is in a party mood seems understandable. After all, he’s got his life back, his reputation restored, and consequently a flourishing career ahead of him, right? But if you take a closer look at the past six weeks and also at the near future, the apparently clear conditions are sometimes put into perspective. Yes, Amber Heard is the big loser in the lawsuit as of now. But Johnny Depp may not necessarily be the big winner.
Did the revelations burn them both?
During the sensational trial, things came to light about both parties to the dispute that were certainly not reputation-enhancing. Reprehensible violent fantasies, excessive drug abuse and self-destructive tendencies by Depp. A supposedly gigantic construct of lies and also toxic behavior by Heard.
The bare numbers prove that the jury was not 100 percent on Depp’s side either. As a reminder, Depp actually sued Heard for $50 million for defamation and she sued him for $100 million. In the end, however, she was “only” sentenced to a fine of 15 million dollars – but Depp also has to pay. Two million dollars from Heard’s fine are immediately returned to her because she was also seen as a victim – albeit a much smaller one.
It should also not be forgotten that only a short time before the court ruling in the USA, that in Great Britain was in favor of Heard’s allegations. There it was still considered legitimate to be able to call Depp a “wife beater”, as was done by “The Sun”. And Depp’s appeal efforts against this verdict also came to nothing.
Not over yet?
Speaking of appeals: Amber Heard is considering appealing after the US verdict and according to various reports. Should she decide to take this step, the proceedings would first end up before an appeals court, which is also located in the US state of Virginia. There could be various consequences. The responsible judges (three pieces) could reduce the sentence against Heard, leave it as it is or even increase it. The appointment would not be without risk for Heard either.
But even apart from a potential appeal, Depp could face new court troubles. As “The Sun” reports, another person has already positioned himself against him. A man named Gregg Brooks, who works in the film industry, claims he was punched by Depp on the set of their joint film City of Lies in 2017. As early as 2018, he sued Depp for this, and a trial is to take place in Los Angeles at a date that has not yet been set.
Back to old radiance?
Due to the serious allegations of his ex-wife, Depp is said to have lost lucrative offers in Hollywood. For example, his prime role as the pirate Jack Sparrow in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series and his part as the villain Grindelwald in the “Harry Potter” offshoot “Fantastic Beasts”. After the verdict, Depp now wants to return to his glory days – and not only in the dream factory.
He is also reportedly planning to breathe new life into his music career. A joint album with rock guitarist Jeff Beck (77) will be released this year, writes “Daily Mail”. There is nothing concrete to report in the Hollywood business yet. It remains to be seen whether the film studios, thanks to the verdict and despite the revelations, are again eager to send Depp offers in a timely manner.
Amber Heard’s film career may be much more manageable in direct comparison, but she too has been in the business for around 18 years. She only celebrated her greatest success in 2018 thanks to the DC strip “Aquaman”. With the exception of this blockbuster, her schedule is also pretty empty. According to the industry website IMDB, an independent film called “In The Fire” is in post-production, while another (“Run Away With Me”) is in the early planning stages.
What about the financial situation of the two?
As revealed during the trial, Heard earned $3 million from the two Aquaman films. She was also awarded a whopping seven million dollars after the divorce from Johnny Depp. She actually wanted to donate it, but according to her own statement, she has not done so yet because she was faced with Depp’s million-dollar lawsuit. And if the current verdict stays the same, Heard will probably need the money to pay her sentence.
However, she does not have to pay the full 15 million as of now. Two million of that will be offset against Depp’s fine. And another five million of these are so-called “punitive damages”. Because these can amount to a maximum of $350,000 in the state of Virginia, Heard is de facto liable to a fine of around $8 million. If she cannot pay this sum at once, according to “CBS News” it is possible that future fees will be withheld for repayment.
However, it is doubtful that Depp is dependent on this money despite his involuntary creative break in recent years. He has not yet announced what he will do with it if the verdict stays the same.