Johnny Depp Will Receive San Sebastian Film Festival Achievement Award amid Legal Turmoil

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Johnny Depp Will Receive San Sebastian Film Festival Achievement Award amid Legal Turmoil

Spain’s San Sebastian International Film Festival will honor Johnny Depp with its lifetime achievement award as the embattled movie star's legal woes continue.

Depp is set to receive the prestigious Donostia Award in late September, which "recognizes outstanding contributions to the film world," according to the film festival, which called Depp "one of contemporary cinema’s most talented and versatile actors."

USA TODAY reached out to San Sebastian International Film Festival for comment.

The move to honor Depp comes after the actor lost a libel lawsuit last year against a British newspaper that labeled him a "wife beater" in 2018 following Amber Heard's abuse allegations after their short, volatile marriage. A judge ruled the allegations were "substantially true" during the high-profile case.

Depp exited the "Fantastic Beasts" franchise shortly after in November of that year, revealing that Warner Bros., the studio behind the films, requested his resignation "in light of recent events." (The role of the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was instead played by Mads Mikkelsen.)

San Sebastian International Film Festival director José Luis Rebordinos told the Hollywood Reporter that it's not his place to "judge the conduct of members of the film industry.

"The role of a film festival is to select the most relevant and interesting films of the year and to extend recognition to those who have made an extraordinary contribution to the art of film,” Rebordinos told the outlet. "The Donostia Award to Johnny Depp is our recognition of a great actor, a man of cinema with a great career."

His upcoming appearance will mark Depp's third time at the festival. He last attended in 2020 as the producer of "Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane Macgowan," a documentary about the legendary Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan. The film won the Special Jury Prize.

The Donostia Award was awarded to Viggo Mortensen last year. Previous honorees include Penélope Cruz, Donald Sutherland, Dame Judi Dench, Danny DeVito, Sigourney Weaver, Ethan Hawke, Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep.

Source: USA Today