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Johnny Depp to be honored by San Sebastian film festival

/ 03:14 PM August 10, 2021
Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp poses on the red carpet as he arrives for the screening of the movie “Waiting for the Barbarians” at the 45th Deauville US Film Festival, in Deauville, northern France on Sept. 8, 2019. Image: AFP/Lou Benoist

Hollywood star Johnny Depp, who lost a libel case last year against a British newspaper that labeled him a “wife-beater,” will receive a lifetime achievement award at Spain’s San Sebastian film festival, organizers said Monday.

The 58-year-old, best known as the swaggering Jack Sparrow in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, will collect the festival’s Donostia award at a ceremony on Sept. 22 in “recognition of his career,” they said in a statement.

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Past recipients of the Donostia award — the festival’s highest honor which is named after the Basque word for the coastal town of San Sebastian — include actors Meryl Streep, Richard Gere, Ian McKellen and Robert De Niro.

The American actor brought a libel claim against The Sun tabloid for a 2018 article that branded him a “wife-beater” during his tempestuous relationship with his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard.

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But a judge last year ruled against him — saying the article had been proven to be “substantially true” — and Depp was ordered to pay the newspaper’s publishers News Group Newspapers £628,000 ($871,000) in legal costs.

The case, which laid bare the actor’s battle with drink and drugs, was dubbed “the biggest English libel trial of the 21st century.”

In its aftermath, Depp said he was asked to step down from his role in the “Fantastic Beasts” film franchise based on the book by “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling.

The 69th San Sebastian film festival, the highest-profile movie event in the Spanish-speaking world, takes place from Sept. 17 to 25.

The festival was originally intended to honor Spanish language films but has established itself as one of the most important movie festivals in the world. IB

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TAGS: Donostia Award, Film festivals, Hollywood actors, Johnny Depp, San Sebastian Film Festival, Spain
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