Dewayne Johnson tries not to think about dying.
Doctors have said the 46-year-old cancer patient could have months to live, but he doesn’t like to dwell on death. These days, he has an easy distraction – navigating the international attention on his life.
The father of three and former school groundskeeper has been learning to live with the gift and burden of being in the spotlight in the month since a California jury ruled that Monsanto caused his terminal cancer. The historic verdict against the agrochemical corporation, which included an award of $289m, has ignited widespread health concerns about the world’s most popular weedkiller and prompted regulatory debates across the globe.
Johnson, who never imagined he would be known as “dying man” in dozens of news headlines, is still processing the historic win.
“Going against a company like this, becoming a public figure, it’s intense,” he told the Guardian in a rare interview since the 10 August verdict. “I felt an enormous amount of responsibility.”