As we reported on Monday, Johnny Depp lost his $50 million lawsuit against UK tabloid the Sun this week.
The case involved claims made by the paper about events that occurred during Depp's brief marriage to Amber Heard.
Depp claimed that the Sun committed libel when it referred to him as a "wife beater" in an article published in 2018.
A judge saw otherwise, and ruled that the “wife beater” label was “substantially true,” based on evidence provided in court.
The way this development has been reported in the press, you might have thought that Depp was found guilty in a criminal trial.
That's not the case -- in fact, his civil case wasn't even against Heard, though the actress did testify during the trial.
What it was, instead, was a colossal PR disaster for Depp that he ironically brought on himself as part of an effort to clear his name.
The trial yielded enormously embarrassing revelations for both sides, but obviously, Depp's reputation suffered the greatest damage.
Depp admitted to struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, but he insisted that his substance abuse issues never led him to become violent with Heard.
Heard's lawyers provided evidence not only of the severity of Depp's drug use but also of the appalling descriptions he used when discussing Heard with friends.
Texts read aloud in court reveal that Depp referred to his then-wife as a "malicious, evil, and vindictive c---” who was “desperate for success and fame."
“I just cannot live like this... She is as full of shit as a Christmas Goose!!! I’m done. NO MORE...!!!” he wrote to friend and fellow actor Paul Bettany.
Depp also threatened to have Heard killed and joked that he would “f--k her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead.”
Lawyers for Depp argued the messages were mot meant be taken seriously “however dark and extravagant the language.”
Depp's lawyers were consistent in their messaging throughout the trial -- it was Amber who abused Johnny, they claimed, not the other way around.
They provided medical reports and eyewitness accounts supporting Depp's claim that Heard nearly cut his finger off when she hurled a vodka bottle at him during a particularly vicious fight.
They played an audiotape in which Heard admitted to hitting Depp and mocked him for calling her actions abusive.
They also alleged that she took embarrassing photos of the actor intoxicated or passed out (such as the one seen above) as an "insurance policy" in case the marriage failed.
The pics may not have aided Heard in that capacity, but they certainly helped support the Sun's claims that Depp is a man whose memory and testimony cannot be relied upon.
In the end, the Sun avoided a very costly lawsuit, and Heard received indirect support for some of her claims about Depp.
Bur both actors will likely suffer career setbacks as a result of one of the most bizarre court cases in Hollywood history.
At this point, it's difficult to imagine Johnny Depp or Amber Heard anchoring a family-friendly franchise anytime in the near future.
Then again ... stranger things have happened.