People: Johnny Depp's libel case stalled by virus

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Johnny Depp's libel case stalled by virus

Johnny Depp's libel suit against British tabloid The Sun was put on hold Friday as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Depp is suing the newspaper's parent company, News Group Newspapers, and executive editor Dan Wootton over a 2018 article claiming he was violent and abusive to his ex-wife Amber Heard.

A trial had been due to start Monday at the High Court in London, with Depp, Heard and other celebrities due to give evidence. But judge Andrew Nicol said Friday that he had "reached the reluctant conclusion that the trial does have to be adjourned."

The judge said two of Depp's legal representatives had already had to self-isolate because of the virus, and added that "no-one can predict whether others involved in the case, and I do not exclude myself, will either become infected or need to self-isolate."

Depp's lawyer, Jennifer Afia, told a preliminary hearing this week that the actor was at a "remote location" in the south of France and could not travel because of restrictions imposed to fight the pandemic.

But the newspaper's attorney, Adam Wolanski, alleged Depp wanted to delay the trial "because he's a coward and because he knows he's going to lose." He said that despite the pandemic, Heard was willing to travel from Los Angeles to London to testify, or to give evidence by video.

Depp, 56, and Heard, 33, met on the set of 2011 comedy "The Rum Diary" and married in Los Angeles in February 2015. They divorced in 2017.

Depp is also suing Heard for libel in the United States.

Masks from TV dramas bring real relief

They may only play doctors on TV, but they're giving real-life help to hospitals that have taken a hit from the coronavirus outbreak.

The Fox TV medical series "The Resident" has donated some of its on-set masks and gowns to a hospital in Atlanta, where it shoots, and the ABC show "The Good Doctor" is moving to do the same in its home base of Vancouver, Canada.

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"To the entire team @theresidentonfox, thank you for this incredibly generous donation of #PPE from your set, including gowns, masks, gloves, and all the things our healthcare workers need to provide safe care for our community during #COVID19," Dr. Karen Law of Grady Memorial Hospital said on Instagram, along with a photo of boxes of the donated gear.

Show representatives confirmed that the gear came from them, and representatives of "The Good Doctor" said they were in talks with government officials in Vancouver about what is needed at hospitals there.

"I had a serious discussion with the residents about how, though supplies are low, a magical shipment of masks is unlikely to arrive," Law said. "And yet, a magical shipment of masks DID arrive, in the form of this very generous gesture."

The coronavirus has especially hit home for "The Good Doctor." Actor Daniel Dae Kim, who is a producer on the show and appeared in several episodes last year, says he has tested positive for it.

NBC News technician dies from coronavirus

A technician who worked at NBC News' New York headquarters has died after testing positive for coronavirus, the network said on Friday.

Larry Edgeworth worked in NBC's fifth-floor equipment room, but for many of his 25 years was an audio technician that traveled on stories around the world, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack said.

He suffered from other health issues that put him in danger, Lack said. Health officials say that while the vast majority of people recover from coronavirus, people who are elderly or who have underlying medical conditions are most vulnerable to serious illness.

NBC had said Wednesday that a staff member had tested positive but did not reveal the name for privacy reasons. Edgeworth died Thursday.

"I want to remind you that it's more important now than ever that you take care of yourself," Lack said in a memo to NBC staff.

Today's birthdays: Singer Chaka Khan is 67. Actress Amanda Plummer is 63. Actress Hope Davis ("The Matador," ''About Schmidt") is 56. Actor Richard Grieco ("21 Jump Street") is 55. Bandleader Reggie Watts ("The Late Late Show with James Corden") is 48. Actor Randall Park ("The Interview," ''Fresh Off the Boat") is 46. Actress Keri Russell is 44. Gossip blogger Perez Hilton is 42. Actress Nicholle Tom ("The Nanny") is 42. Country singer Brett Young is 39.

— The Associated Press


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