Depp missed out on an £18m fee for Pirates of the Caribbean 6 over Heard claims, trial hears
Depp apparently had a 'verbal agreement' to appear in Pirates of the Caribbean 6
Johnny Depp's agent has claimed that the actor missed out on an £18 million ($22.5m) payday for Pirates of the Caribbean 6 because of Amber Heard's allegations of domestic abuse against him.
Depp claims that he was dropped from the film franchise because of an op-ed his ex-wife wrote in the Washington Post in 2018, in which she said she had been a victim of domestic abuse.
The actor starred as Captain Jack Sparrow in each of the first five Pirates of the Caribbean films from 2003 to 2017.
However, he was dropped from the role by Disney in 2019.
Giving evidence at the libel battle between Depp and Heard, agent Jack Whigham said that Depp had struck an £18m "verbal agreement" with the studio to reprise his role in the franchise for Pirates of the Caribbean 6, but was told in 2019 by Disney that he had been dropped because they had decided to go in a "different direction."
Depp was also dropped from the Fantastic Beasts film series, and Whigham told the court that the impact of the op-ed on Depp's career had been "catastrophic," saying that the actor didn't appear in any studio films between the day the op-ed was published in December 2018 and October 2020.
Jack Whigham, #JohnnyDepp's talent manager, said that the actor did not appear in any studio films between the day #AmberHeard's Washington Post op-ed was published in December 2018 and October 2020. @LawCrimeNetwork pic.twitter.com/R4BvrkZsHI
— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) May 2, 2022
“It was catastrophic because it was coming from a first person account”, he said. “It was not from a journalist, not someone observing, it was from someone saying this happened to me."
Whigham also spoke about how funding for independent movie Minamata was almost withdrawn because of Heard's allegations.
“The op-ed came out in December right as we were going on Christmas break. Minamata was supposed to start in January. It was very, very difficult to keep Minamata together”, he said.
“The financing became shaky, Johnny’s fee came down in order to save the movie.”
Depp is currently suing his former wife Heard for defamation over the op-ed.
Depp's team argue that the piece falsely implies that Heard was physically and sexually abused by Depp while they were married from 2015 to 2017. He is seeking $50m in damages.
Heard is in turn suing her former husband, accusing him of orchestrating a "smear campaign" against her and labelling his lawsuit as a continuation of "abuse and harassment."
She has asked for immunity from Depp's complaint, and $100m in damages.
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