Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard Trial Peels Back Secrecy on Hollywood Decision-Making

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Through 5 weeks of trial, one thriller with a multimillion greenback query mark has lingered: How a lot had been Johnny Depp or Amber Heard’s careers harmed by the actors allegedly defaming one another?

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Hollywood insiders, usually tight-lipped on dealings within the business, have taken the stand largely to push again on accusations that the duo’s public mudslinging performed an element of their tumbling careers. Keeping in step with studios insulating themselves from showing to take sides within the high-profile dispute put in movement on the peak of the #MeToo motion, Walter Hamada, president of DC Films and the highest-ranking studio officer to look within the trial, stated on Tuesday that “there were conversations about potentially recasting” Heard within the Aquaman sequel however that they didn’t relate to her authorized battle with Depp.

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Hamada attributed the discussions to “chemistry” points with main man Jason Momoa.

The testimony mirrors Disney manufacturing govt Tina Newman testifying final week that she wasn’t conscious of the December 2018 op-ed on the middle of the defamation trial taking part in a job within the alternative to not move ahead with one other installment to Pirates of the Caribbean. Depp has alleged that he was minimize from the franchise shortly after the column — which didn’t identify him particularly however described “domestic abuse” in a time-frame constant together with his marriage to Heard — was revealed and that he’s nonetheless being boycotted by Hollywood.

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In a $100 million counterclaim, Heard has accused Depp of coordinating a marketing campaign aimed toward smearing her by calling her abuse claims a hoax.

In a 20-minute deposition proven to jurors, Hamada detailed how Heard was almost booted from the upcoming film Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

“Concerns were brought up at the wrap of production of the first movie,” Hamada stated of whether or not the studio could be “better off recasting someone who has better natural chemistry with Jason Momoa and move forward that way.”

Heard’s contract with Warner Bros. paid her $450,000 for her debut as Mera, queen of Atlantis, in Zach Snyder’s Justice League with choices by the studio for her to reprise the character in later motion pictures, the actor has testified. She was paid $1 million for Aquaman and $2 million for the sequel. The studio hasn’t determined whether or not to choose up her choice, for which she’d be paid $four million, for one more film.

Asked whether or not allegedly defamatory statements from Adam Waldman — one in every of Depp’s legal professionals who was thrown off the case for leaking data lined by a protecting order to the press — calling Heard’s abuse allegations a lie affected Heard’s compensation or position within the Aquaman follow-up, Hamada denied the declare. He described Warner Bros.’ philosophy on “hold[ing] people to their options.”

“As a company we go through a lot of trouble when we make deals with actors,” Hamada stated. “Traditionally, prior to me join the company, every option was renegotiated. One thing we were trying to put a rein in on was not renegotiating every deal.”

Over a number of days on the stand, Heard testified that studios and endorsers shied away from her as soon as Depp began to undermine her claims that she was abused by him.

“I had to fight really hard to keep my career,” Heard testified on May 17. “After I got my temporary restraining order, I lost opportunities. I got canceled from jobs. I got dropped from a campaign I had shot. I fought to keep my job in the biggest movie opportunity I had to date — Justice League, with the option [for] Aquaman.”

The actress added that Warner Bros. didn’t need to embody her within the Aquaman sequel and solely shot a “very pared-down version” of her half.

“I was given a script, then given new versions of the script that had taken away scenes that had action in it, that depicted my character and another character — without giving any spoilers away — two characters fighting with one another,” Heard stated. “They basically took a bunch out of my role. They just removed a bunch.”

Undercutting Heard’s testimony, Hamada testified that her position within the film was decided previous to the couple’s authorized battle and that her “character’s involvement in the story was what it was in the beginning.”

The testimony from the chief appointed to shepherd the DC prolonged universe in 2018 after Justice League flopped tracks with what Heard’s agent, WME’s Jessica Kovacevic, stated concerning the cause her consumer’s position within the Aquaman sequel wasn’t as sturdy as desired. She testified final week that she was advised Heard’s position was diminished due to chemistry points however that destructive press affected the studio’s determination, questioning why Heard’s profession didn’t take off as a lot as Momoa’s.

“Your career takes a turn after something like that,” Kovacevic stated, referring to Warner Bros. selecting Heard to play Mera after she auditioned for the half. “She was very well-received in the movie at the time. Everyone was happy with her at the time. There were no issues. Then to have a complete downturn after that, and then have that coincide with constant tweets and negativity put out about her. I don’t have a physical piece of paper of evidence, but it’s the only logical conclusion I draw.”

Kovacevic added that Heard was dropped from an Amazon film due to the accusations from Depp.

Hamada was the second Hollywood insider to testify for Depp within the trial. Jack Whigham, the actor’s agent, beforehand testified that his consumer was slated to be paid $22.5 million for reprising his position as Jack Sparrow within the sixth Pirates film, however that Disney went in a unique route after Heard’s op-ed.

“After the op-ed it was impossible to get him a studio film, which was what we normally would have been focused on,” Whigham stated.

Heard additionally enlisted quite a few folks with ties to the business to again up her case. Newman was referred to as to the stand to refute claims that Heard’s abuse allegations prompted Disney to drop plans for Pirates 6. She pointed to emails amongst firm executives Sean Bailey, Alan Horn and Alan Bergman discussing points with Depp on-and off-set.

The testimony was overshadowed by United Talent Agency’s Tracey Jacobs, Depp’s former agent, ripping aside her former consumer for ruining his profession on account of points with alcohol and medicines.

“His star had dimmed due to it getting harder to get him jobs given the reputation he had acquired due to his lateness and other things,” Jacobs stated, including that “people were talking” about his substance abuse.

At one level, Depp needed to begin carrying an earpiece to have his strains fed to him as a result of he wouldn’t bear in mind them, she recounted.

The trial continues on Wednesday with Kate Moss anticipated to testify as a rebuttal witness for Depp.


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