Entertainment News Roundup: Claire Denis seizes the moment with ‘Stars at Noon’; Johnny Depp, back on the stand, calls Heard abuse claims ‘cruel and false’ and more

Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.

Claire Denis seizes the moment with ‘Stars at Noon’

French auteur filmmaker Claire Denis says the death of writer Denis Johnson spurred her into action to bring his novel “Stars at Noon” to the big screen. Denis, who makes her Cannes competition return with the movie, had discussed the project with the American author and was shooting her space drama “High Life” when Johnson passed away in May 2017.

Johnny Depp, back on the stand, calls Heard abuse claims ‘cruel and false’

Actor Johnny Depp returned to the witness stand on Wednesday to refute ex-wife Amber Heard’s testimony in their defamation battle, saying the abuse claims she leveled against him were “unimaginably brutal, cruel and false.” The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, 58, sued Heard for $50 million and argued that she defamed him when she called herself “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” Heard, 36, has countersued for $100 million, saying Depp smeared her when his lawyer said her accusations were a “hoax.”

Shakira loses appeal to avoid trial in Spanish tax fraud case

A Spanish court has dismissed an appeal from Colombian singer Shakira and ratified a prior decision, which saw “sufficient evidence” to send her to stand trial over alleged tax fraud, a court document showed on Thursday. Prosecutors claim the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer failed to pay up to 14.5 million euros ($15.54 million) in tax on income earned between 2012 and 2014.

‘Dream come true’ for Pakistan’s first Cannes screening

The debut screening of Pakistan’s first entry to the Cannes Film Festival felt like “a dream has come true”, one of its stars Sarwat Gilani said after the film – which seeks to break gender stereotypes in her country – received a prolonged standing ovation. “It felt like the hard work that people do, the struggles that we face as artists in Pakistan, they’ve all come to be worth it,” Gilani told Reuters on Tuesday.

‘Stranger Things’ returns with more supernatural horrors

Hit Netflix sci-fi drama “Stranger Things” returns this week with the first part of its highly-anticipated season four promising more supernatural horrors besetting the fictional Indiana town of Hawkins. Set six months after season three ended with the gruesome Starcourt mall battle, season four sees the young protagonist friends separated after Eleven, played by Millie Bobbi Brown, moved to California with Joyce (Winona Ryder) and her two sons, Will and Jonathan.

Key moments in the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial

Actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are suing each other for defamation, each claiming they were abused before and during their roughly two-year marriage. Heard’s team rested the defense case on Tuesday. Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday. Below are key moments in the trial so far:

Korea’s Park Chan-wook leaves violence behind in new ‘adult film’

Celebrated South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook, best known for his brutal Vengeance Trilogy, is covering new ground with his latest Cannes competition entry, “Decision to Leave.” The romantic thriller about a detective and murder suspect who become infatuated with one another features, contrary to the expectation of some, little violence or nudity.

Elvis fever grips Cannes ahead of Luhrmann biopic premiere

The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll died 45 years ago, but Elvis fever was alive in Cannes on Wednesday as fans delighted at seeing an impersonator stroll down the resort city’s famed promenade, La Croisette. The Elvis lookalike, real name Eryl Prayer, was in town to celebrate the premiere of Baz Luhrmann’s biopic which premieres on Wednesday night at the Cannes Film Festival.

Away from festival spotlight, Ukrainian rebuilds life in Cannes

When Lesia Bilotserkovets and her family fled Kyiv by car at the start of the war in Ukraine, her father balked at the size of her suitcase, full of winter clothing. The 24-year-old didn’t know she would end up in Cannes, on the French Riviera.

Aerosmith cancels summer Vegas shows after singer Tyler enters rehab

Rock band Aerosmith canceled the first two months of shows scheduled for its Las Vegas residency after lead singer Steven Tyler suffered a relapse in his sobriety and entered treatment, the band announced on Tuesday. The group known for hits including “Dream On” and “Walk This Way” plans to take the stage at the Park MGM hotel starting in September, according to a statement posted on Twitter.

(With inputs from agencies.)