A while ago, Fantastic Beasts star Johnny Depp sued The Sun for calling him a “wife-beater” in several of their articles. Now, after a lengthy period of preparations, his libel case is set to start at London’s Royal Courts of Justice on July 7th.
For a while, it wasn’t clear whether this would actually happen. While Depp’s initial motivations were well-grounded, the validity of his accusation was contested when text messages resurfaced detailing the renowned actor asking his assistant for drugs.
While this request is scandalous and, frankly, illegal enough on its own, it holds a special place in the ongoing legal battle between Depp and his ex-wife, Amber Heard, who claims she endured a “three-day ordeal” of assault around the time the text messages were sent.
The judge overseeing the trial, Justice Nichol, was not pleased with when and how these messages popped up. According to him, Depp’s legal team ought to have disclosed them the moment their accusation against The Sun was made.
Despite Depp’s dishonesty, however, Justice Nichol has ruled that the trial may proceed. “I am not persuaded that the trial of the claim would be unfair,” he said, reflecting on the messages.
The trial against the magazine’s legal team is set to begin on July 7th and will feature testimonies from Depp’s ex-partners Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis.
Of course, Johnny Depp is not the only member of the Fantastic Beasts team who’s garnered negative publicity in recent times. A few weeks ago, series creator and lead writer J.K. Rowling became the subject of a vast controversy after posting several transphobic tweets.
The tweets, which included an argument on why biological sex is real, have not been met favorably by activists, and caused numerous former stars and companies affiliated with the writer to renounce their friendship and support.