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Can Johnny Depp’s career bounce back with a libel verdict?


After an American jury overwhelmingly sided with Johnny Depp in his libel battle against Amber Heard, could the verdict help the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star resurrect his faltering career?

A jubilant Depp said on Wednesday the jury “gave my life back to me” as he was awarded more than $10 million in libel damages, compared to just $2 million for his ex-wife, who sued countersuit.

“A new chapter has begun”, says Johnny Depp after winning his lawsuit against Amber Heard

At the heart of the high-profile lawsuit were testimony from Hollywood agents, accountants and lawyers, who were asked to assess whether the former couple had derailed each other’s careers.

Jurors heard from Depp’s side that he lost $22.5 million in salary for a sixth “Pirates” movie due to Heard’s abuse allegations.

But Heard’s legal team presented witnesses who said her ex-husband’s star was already losing his shine due to “unprofessional behavior” including alcohol and drug use.

“The damage that’s been done is done, and from there it could start a process of returning to some kind of normality,” said a Hollywood producer who has worked with Depp in the past, but asked not to. be identified.

Johnny Depp Wins Defamation Lawsuit Against Amber Heard: Key Moments in the Case

“But I don’t think he’s going to get big, big, big studio jobs where there’s so much at stake.

“If he’s throwing bottles and taking drugs, and he’s late, they’re not going to put up with the lateness that’s costing someone tons of money who isn’t a shining star anymore.”

Major Hollywood studios may struggle to secure insurance for big-budget productions starring Depp, the producer added.

“It’s too risky to put a guy like that in billion-dollar franchises now,” they said.

Likewise, while jurors and social media opinion may have swayed Depp’s direction during the trial, that doesn’t guarantee his box office appeal will return, especially among women.

“The things he said are vile,” the producer said, pointing to text messages introduced during the trial, in which Depp called Heard a “dumb cow” and talked about his “rotten corpse.”

– ‘Bad boy’ –

Of course, while not directly comparable, Hollywood titans from Marlon Brando to Mel Gibson enjoyed huge box office success after seismic controversies.

“I think there are studios that will be willing to work with him at this point,” said Karen North, a professor at the University of Southern California who specializes in reputation management.

Despite a series of recent flops, “he’s almost always been very good at the box office,” she said, noting that Depp is “as much in the public eye now as he ever was because of the trial”.

While a return to grim tales of alcohol and drug-fueled binge eating might be problematic for someone with a sharper image, Depp ‘never said he was a mild-mannered benefactor’ .

“When someone’s a bit of a bad boy… when they’re accused of doing something that involves being unstable, people say, ‘Well, I’m not surprised, it doesn’t change who I am. think that person is. .'”

“I think Johnny Depp is going to come back personally, it makes sense,” North said.

“That’s assuming he wants to, isn’t he? He has a lot of choices.”

Depp spent the days leading up to the verdict performing rock concerts in England with guitarist Jeff Beck, potentially demonstrating that his interest is wider than a return to the big screen.

– ‘French films’ –

And if he were to return to the big screen, he wouldn’t necessarily need to be in glitzy Hollywood.

“He could become an independent darling, where shoots are six to eight weeks long, the payment is $250,000 and he gets 25% ownership of the film, or something like that,” said the producer who worked with Depp.

“And he could be nominated for a cool little role where the stakes aren’t that high, and the budget is a few million dollars, and he wows people with a crazy performance.”

And failing that? “He’ll be working in Europe. I mean, they don’t care about that stuff,” the producer said.

“He will make French films. He will make German films.”

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Post expires at 7:45am on Sunday June 12th, 2022