Johnny Depp’s agent testified Monday that his ex-wife’s 2018 op-ed piece in The Washington Put up describing herself as a sufferer of home abuse was “catastrophic” to his profession and coincided with the lack of a US$23-million deal for a Pirates of the Caribbean sequel.
Amber Heard’s attorneys pushed again aggressively in opposition to the agent’s assertion on cross-examination, suggesting that the article was inconsequential amid a stream of unhealthy publicity for Depp introduced on by his personal unhealthy behaviour.
Depp is suing Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court docket, saying her article defamed him when she described herself as “a public determine representing home abuse.” The article by no means mentions Depp by title, however Depp’s attorneys say he was defamed however as a result of it’s a transparent reference to abuse allegations Heard levied in 2016.
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In testimony Monday, agent Jack Whigham stated Depp was nonetheless capable of work after the preliminary allegations made in opposition to him in 2016. He was paid $8 million for Metropolis Of Lies, $10 million for Homicide on the Orient Specific and $13.5 million for Unbelievable Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, all of which have been shot in 2017, albeit below contracts reached previous to the allegations made in opposition to him.
However he stated The Washington Put up piece was uniquely damaging to Depp’s profession.
“It was a first-person account, extraordinarily impactful,” Whigham stated of the op-ed.
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After that, he stated Depp struggled to get any type of work. He needed to take a pay lower — all the way down to $3 million — to do the unbiased movie Minimata, and a $22.5-million verbal deal he had with Disney for a sixth Pirates movie was scuttled, Whigham stated.
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On cross-examination, although, Heard’s attorneys requested whether or not the Pirates deal had already gone south by the point Heard’s article was printed. Whigham acknowledged he by no means had a written deal for Depp to look in a sixth Pirates movie. And whereas he stated Pirates producer Jerry Bruckheimer talked favourably all through 2018 about Depp coming again to the franchise, Disney executives have been noncommittal at finest.
By early 2019 — weeks after Heard’s op-ed — Whigham stated it was clear that Depp’s position in any Pirates movie was scuttled and that producers have been as an alternative trying to transfer forward with Margot Robbie in a lead position.
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Heard’s attorneys have cited quite a lot of elements — together with stories of heavy drug and alcohol use, a lawsuit by a crew member in July 2018 who says he was punched on set by Depp, and a separate libel lawsuit Depp filed in opposition to a British newspaper in 2018 — as issues that broken Depp’s picture greater than the Put up article.
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For Depp’s Virginia lawsuit to achieve success, he not solely wants to point out that he was falsely accused, however he additionally wants to point out that it’s the op-ed piece — not Heard’s abuse allegations in 2016 when she filed for divorce and obtained a brief restraining order — that triggered the injury.
Depp’s attorneys additionally introduced testimony from an mental property knowledgeable who testified concerning the adverse flip in Depp’s fame. However his personal knowledge, displaying development strains from Google searches, confirmed adverse spikes occurring after the 2016 abuse allegations, however negligible or nonexistent adjustments after the Put up article.
The trial has now entered its fourth week. A lot of the testimony throughout the first three weeks centred on the unstable relationship between Depp and Heard. Depp says he has by no means struck Heard. Her attorneys stated throughout the trial’s opening statements that she was bodily and sexually abused by Depp on a number of events.
Heard is anticipated to testify later this week.
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