The daily gossip: Jury finds Amber Heard defamed Johnny Depp, Jada Pinkett Smith breaks slap silence, and more
Today's top entertainment and celebrity news
Jury finds Amber Heard defamed Johnny Depp
It's been a long, grueling two months, but the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial is over — and they both won, kind of. After three days of deliberations, a jury in Virginia found that Heard did defame her ex-husband, Depp, when she wrote an op-ed in 2018 about becoming a "public figure representing domestic abuse" and that she acted with actual malice when she did so. Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages. But Heard had countersued Depp for defamation after his lawyer described her allegations as a hoax, and the jury also sided with her on one count, awarding her $2 million in damages. Heard was in the courtroom when the verdict was read, but Depp, who has been in the U.K. performing a streak of surprise concerts, wasn't. In a statement, Heard said "the disappointment I feel today is beyond words."
Jada Pinkett Smith breaks silence on The Slap
After a brief hiatus, Slap discourse is officially back with a vengeance, as Jada Pinkett Smith has broken her silence. The actress devoted the Wednesday episode of her Facebook talk show Red Table Talk to alopecia, during which she finally addressed her husband Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars. Rock had made a bald joke about Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia. "My deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out, and reconcile," she said. She also said she hoped to use this "moment to give our alopecia family an opportunity to talk about what it's like to have this condition," and that was the focus of the rest of the show. We haven't heard much from Will Smith himself lately, but Pinkett Smith said they're both "continuing to do what we have done for the last 28 years, and that's keep figuring out this thing called life together."
Matthew Morrison fired for 'inappropriate relationship' with 'So You Think You Can Dance' contestant
What did you do, Mr. Schue? Glee star Matthew Morrison abruptly left his role as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance recently, and we now (allegedly) know why. According to People, Morrison was fired for having an "inappropriate relationship" with a female contestant on the show. "They didn't have sex, but he reached out to her through flirty direct messages on social media," a source told People. "She felt uncomfortable with his line of comments and went to producers, who then got Fox involved." Morrison apparently never met up with the contestant, but the source said it was "just messages that crossed the line," and Fox reportedly fired him after completing an investigation. Morrison previously said he was leaving the show because he failed to "follow competition production protocols, preventing me from being able to judge the competition fairly." And that's what you missed on So You Think You Can Dance!
Netflix plans to make 'bigger, better, fewer' movies
More than a month after its stock tanked over a shock subscriber loss, Netflix has put its best minds together to come up with a solution: simply make better movies. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the streamer's film division going forward hopes to make bigger and better films, while also releasing fewer of them than it did in the past — operating under the mantra of "bigger, better, fewer." As an example, the Reporter says that in the future, Netflix might opt to make one movie that costs $20 million rather than two that cost $10 million, and its smaller films may "become more niche." The report also declares that Netflix's "era of expensive vanity projects," such as Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, is probably over — though the article's description of the acclaimed mob epic as a vanity project has already sparked nearly as much backlash on Twitter as a Ricky Gervais special.
LeVar Burton says 'the fix was in' on 'Jeopardy!' hosting job
The producers of Jeopardy! were never truly taking a look at LeVar Burton, the Reading Rainbow alum says. Burton opened up in an interview with Newsy about failing to get the Jeopardy! hosting job after lobbying for it and guest hosting the show. "Experiencing a very public defeat, humiliation, if you will, was sobering," Burton said, adding that he felt "not just disappointed, but wrecked." The gig ended up going to the show's own executive producer, Mike Richards, who promptly stepped down over offensive podcast comments. Richards faced allegations that he effectively gave himself the job and never actually considered any of the guest hosts, and Burton seems to believe this is the case. "As it turns out, it really wasn't a competition after all," he said. "The fix was in." Almost a year later, though, Burton is now hosting the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which he described as a "huge balm on an open wound."