Johnny Depp-The Sun libel case: Here's what actor will receive if he wins trial after spending $6M legal fees
With just hours left for the high court in London to hand down the verdict in the much-awaited libel case filed by Johnny Depp against News Group Newspapers, publishers of The Sun, as well as it's executive editor Dan Wootton, over an April 2018 article, which the actor had alleged unfairly branded him a "wife-beater", here's a look at what the star stands to receive if he manages to win the trial.
The verdict will be delivered by trial judge Justice Nicol at 10 am GMT (5 am EST) four months after the allegations unfolded over three weeks in July at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Both the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' actor as well as his former spouse, Amber Heard, were called on the stand to give evidence against each other as shocking details about their stormy private lives were revealed. The court heard allegations of severe domestic abuse, drug abuse and extramarital affairs.
It is estimated that Depp ended up spending an estimated £5 million ($6.4 million) in legal costs for what was described in media coverage as the biggest English libel trial of the 21st century. It is not known how much the other side ended up spending in the case. According to the Guardian, Depp can expect to receive between £180,000 to £200,000 ($230,000 to $250,000) in damages if he wins the case. Also, whoever ends up on the losing side, will most likely end up paying the bulk of the winner’s legal costs in addition to their own. However, according to an unnamed law expert, the decision on Monday, November 2, might not spell the end of the legal battle between Depp and The Sun as whichever party loses will almost certainly appeal.
During the trial, Depp strenuously denied the “overwhelming evidence” that The Sun said in its piece that they had of the 57-year-old attacking Heard, 34, during their four-year relationship. Depp’s barrister, David Sherborne, said in closing arguments, that his client’s case was about vindication. “What is important to Mr Depp is clearing his name of these appalling allegations, expanded on as it has been over the last four years, as a result of which he has lost nothing less than everything, he would say,” he said. “When I say he has lost everything, to him obviously everything is his reputation. This is not about money, this is vindicating him.”
Before that, Depp had spent 20 hours in the witness box over five days opening up about his not-so-normal Hollywood lifestyle, his use of drugs and alcohol, allegations of violence, and his friendships and associations. However, Depp claimed that his drug-taking habit did not turn him into a violent man that Heard often referred to in her court deposition as a "monster". In fact, it was Heard who repeatedly physically assaulted him, Depp said. "I do not believe that I have an overbearing, manipulative or controlling personality, or that anyone who knows me well would describe me that way. In contrast, I believe that Amber had an obsessive need to control me and all situations in our relationship. I truly believe that most of the descriptions Amber provides are in fact reflections of her own behavior," he said.
Sasha Wass, a lawyer for NGN, told the court there was “no doubt that Mr Depp regularly and systematically abused his wife,” adding: “The characterization that he is a wife-beater is entirely truthful.”