A talent manager and agent for Johnny Depp has claimed that the actor would have received $22.5 million (£17.9m) to star in the sixth ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie before Disney decided to go “in a different direction”.
Jack Whigham, who was among the latest to testify in the ongoing defamation trial between Depp and Amber Heard, his ex-wife, claimed that her 2018 Washington Post op-ed destroyed the actor’s ability to book big movies.
In the publication, Heard had written about being a survivor of domestic abuse — although she did not specifically mention the actor’s name.
But on Monday, Whigman alleged that the publication had dealt a catastrophic blow to Depp’s acting career.
“It was a first-person account coming from the victim, It became a death-knell catastrophic thing for Mr. Depp in the Hollywood community,” Whigham said.
“After the op-ed, it was impossible to get him a studio film, which is what we normally would have been focused on in that time period.”
Whigman, who said he started working with Depp in October 2016, added that the actor worked steadily in 2017.
According to him, “Depp took home $8m (£6.4m) for City of Lies, $10m (£7.9m)for Murder on the Orient Express, and $13.5m (£10.8m) for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.”
It is understood that all three films were shot in 2017 — prior to the op-ed’s publication.
Responding to the claim, Elaine Bredehoft, Heard’s attorney, told the court that the $22.5 million deal was yet to be signed by the actor, adding that Depp never secured the deal.
In 2019, Depp sued Heard, seeking $50 million in damages for defamation. His lawyers had earlier argued in court that Heard concocted a victim role despite being the abuser.
The defamation suit, which is still on trial, started in Virginia on April 11 with jury selection.
More than 3 million persons have signed a petition seeking to have Heard removed from ‘Aquaman 2’ — an upcoming movie.
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