Woe is Johnny Depp…
No question, Hollywood’s focus on the performer has moved away from his acting and onto his personal life. His contentious legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard, who accused Johnny of domestic abuse, has indeed overshadowed his illustrious film career in the last few years. It’s also cost him roles and opportunities, as when he was “asked to resign” from his role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
Similar consequences have apparently extended to his recent film Minamata, which the 58-year-old starred in and produced. The movie, which follows real-life photographer W. Eugene Smith as he exposes a mercury poisoning scandal in a Japanese town in the ’70s, has yet to be released in the US. The decision was slammed by director Andrew Levitas, who demanded MGM explain to the victims “why you think an actor’s personal life is more important than their dead children.”
Speaking with the Sunday Times, Johnny himself shared:
“We looked these people in the eyeballs and promised we would not be exploitative. That the film would be respectful. I believe that we’ve kept our end of the bargain, but those who came in later should also maintain theirs.”
While Tim Burton’s muse apparently stated his own issues were “like getting scratched by a kitten” compared to the poisoning victims or “people who suffered with COVID,” he did complain about how the “surreal five years” of battling with his ex has affected his professional reputation, specifically when it comes to this movie. He shared:
“Some films touch people and this affects those in Minamata and people who experience similar things. And for anything … for Hollywood’s boycott of me? One man, one actor in an unpleasant and messy situation, over the last number of years?”
The Pirates of the Caribbean star dismissed Hollywood turning its back on him as the “absurdity of media mathematics.” He bemoaned:
“Whatever I’ve gone through, I’ve gone through. But, ultimately, this particular arena of my life has been so absurd…”
However, he added:
“But, you know, I’m moving towards where I need to go to make all that… To bring things to light.”
The UK libel case concerning The Sun’s use of “wife beater” to describe the Oscar nominee did damage to both Johnny and Amber’s reputations. However, a judge ultimately ruled in favor of the tabloid, finding that the term was “substantially true” after 12 of 14 assaults were proved to the civil standard. Johnny was later denied the opportunity to appeal the verdict.
Meanwhile, the father of two’s US defamation case against the Aquaman star has been delayed until 2022. Earlier this month he enjoyed a separate legal victory which will force the ACLU to reveal how much of Amber’s $7 million divorce settlement she donated to the organization. So while he may in fact be on his way “to bring things to light” about his ex, it still doesn’t negate the fact that his own violent behavior was proven “substantially true” in a UK court.
Still, plenty of fans have stuck by him through the troubling allegations, which the 21 Jump Street alum gushed about to the Times. He reflected:
“They have always been my employers. They are all our employers. They buy tickets, merchandise. They made all of those studios rich, but they forgot that a long time ago. I certainly haven’t. I’m proud of these people, because of what they are trying to say, which is the truth. The truth they’re trying to get out since it doesn’t in more mainstream publications. It’s a long road that sometimes gets clunky. Sometimes just plain stupid. But they stayed on the ride with me and it’s for them I will fight. Always, to the end. Whatever it may be.”
“Long road” is right — seems like there’s still years of duking this out in court ahead. We’re all for the truth coming out, so if there’s more to the story, hopefully it will be revealed in US court.
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