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The verdict is expected in Johnny Depp‘s libel claim against News Group Newspapers any day now, and it’ll have big consequences for his future. Victory will blow a hole in Amber Heard’s credibility and affect domestic legal proceedings. Defeat (or even a partial victory on a few counts), however, could mean disaster. After all, if a judge decides that it’s more likely than not that Heard’s story is true, then family-friendly companies like Disney may reconsider their involvement with the Pirates of the Caribbean star.
But reports from the British press indicate that Depp is confident about coming out on top. Now, first up, bear in mind that this story is coming from The Daily Mail, so take it with a grain of salt. For what it’s worth, though, they’re saying that Depp’s legal team is preparing to issue another libel claim, this time against Amber Heard for reputational damage.
If nothing else, this may be an indication that Depp already knows that he’s won. That’s because in cases like these, lawyers and clients are given access to a draft version of the judgment in advance of it being available to the public. The contents are strictly confidential until publication, but knowledge of them will allow the parties to begin making their next move.
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And if the judge rules that Amber Heard has limited credibility and criticizes her testimony, it could adversely impact her future career. We won’t know anything for sure until that judgment is published, but if you’re wrapped up in the ongoing Johnny Depp/Amber Heard situation, I’d highly recommend keeping your eyes on the British press to read it as soon as it drops.
As dramatic as its verdict will be, I suspect the losing party will launch an appeal against it. In any case, as another famous British person once said, this may not be the beginning of the end, but it’s certainly the end of the beginning.