Johnny Depp ‘lost a $22.5million contract to star in Pirates of the Caribbean 6’, agent told court – as experts analyze impact of Amber Heard’s claims | Ents & Arts News

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Expert witnesses told Johnny Depp’s libel trial of the ‘devastating’ impact Amber Heard’s domestic abuse allegations had on the actor’s career – while his agent claimed he was unable to ‘save’ his lucrative role in Pirates of the Caribbean.

During the twelfth day of evidence, the jury also heard from another of the Deppthe security guards – who said they witnessed Heard hitting Depp, throwing things at him, and trying to spit on him on one occasion.

Depp is suing his ex-wife for $50 million over a first-person article published by The Washington Post in December 2018, and much of the day’s questions focused on how this column — as well as claims by Heard first made public in May 2016 – damaging the actor’s career and reputation.

Amber Heard in court today
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Heard counter-suits for $100 million
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For the actor’s trial to succeed, he must not only prove that he was falsely accused, but also that it was precisely the article that caused the damage.

The case resumed Monday after the weekend break, marking the start of the fourth week of the trial – Heard is expected to take the stand at some point later this week.

Here are some of the key moments from the 12th day of testimony:

• Depp’s talent agent Jack Whigham told the court that a $22.5million deal was struck – although there was no contract – for the star to appear in the upcoming sixth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, but said he couldn’t save it.
• Hollywood understood the message in Heard’s article “loud and clear”, expert witness Richard Marks, an entertainment lawyer, told the court.
• ‘Fewer people liked him’: Intellectual property expert Doug Bania gave his analysis of the impact of Heard’s claims
• Depp’s security guard Travis McGivern said he saw Heard punch Depp – but the actor did not physically respond
• Testimony from registered nurse Erin Falati (formerly Boerum) has also begun, with details of the court hearing on her notes taken during Depp and Heard’s relationship
• Catch up on what has been said so far in our live coverage of the trial as it happens

Travis McGivern, a security guard for Depp for nearly 10 years, was the first to testify on Monday, telling the jury how he witnessed verbal arguments between the two stars.

On one occasion in March 2015, after the couple returned to Los Angeles from their now infamous trip to Australia, Mr McGivern said he saw Heard throw a can of Red Bull at Depp, spit on him, then punch him .

‘You name it, she puked it’

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Amber Heard ‘hit Johnny Depp’

“Out of the corner of my eye I saw a fist and an arm go over my right shoulder and I heard and saw a clenched fist touch Mr. Depp on the left side of his face,” he said. declared in court. “It was Amber Heard’s fist.”

He said that night Depp was angry and threw Heard’s clothes racks, including one down the stairs. However, he says the actor didn’t physically respond to the actress – and he never saw her being violent.

Arguments between the two men had become regular by this point, the bodyguard said. Heard would typically yell at Depp as he tried to leave, Mr McGivern told the jury.

“There were times when I heard Miss Heard call him papa ****** deadbeat, if I may say that – I apologize to the court – af ****** washed, af **** ** c ***. You name it, she threw it up.”

“I failed to save Pirates for Johnny”

Jack Whigham, talent manager for Johnny Depp, is seen on a monitor as he testifies remotely in Fairfax County Circuit Court in a libel case against her by ex-husband Depp in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S. May 2, 2022. Steve Helber/Pool via REUTERS
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Johnny Depp talent manager Jack Whigham testified live via video link

Then Depp’s agent Jack Whigham told the court that Heard’s first-person article was “catastrophic” for Depp’s career and coincided with the loss of a $22.5 million contract. dollars for the sixth Pirates of the Caribbean film – although he admitted no contract had been signed. .

Heard’s lawyers pushed back against the agent’s claim in cross-examination, suggesting the article was inconsequential as it followed a stream of bad publicity for Depp. They cited various factors – including reports of heavy drug and alcohol use, a lawsuit filed by a crew member in July 2018 who says he was punched on set by Depp, and the separate libel suit and the subsequent unsuccessful lawsuit against The Sun in the UK – as things that damaged the actor’s reputation more than Heard’s article.

Mr Whigham told the court Depp was still able to work after allegations were first made against him in 2016. He was paid $8million for City Of Lies, $10million for Murder On The Orient Express and 13 $.5 million for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – all of which were shot in 2017, albeit under deals made before the allegations against him – he said.

But the Washington Post article was “an extremely powerful, first-person account,” Mr Whigham told the jury. After its publication, Depp had to take a pay cut – up to $3 million – to direct the independent film Minimata – and the claimed deal for Pirates of the Caribbean was lost, with the producers deciding to switch and create a leading role for Margot Robbie.

Mr Whigham said he tried to get in touch with Pirates producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney’s Sean Bailey about Depp reprising his role as Captain Jack Sparrow – “but I couldn’t save Pirates for Johnny”.

Expert witnesses

Richard Marks, a forensic technical expert, testifies in the courtroom of Fairfax County Circuit Court in a libel case brought by actor Johnny Depp against his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S., May 2, 2022. Steve Helber/Pool via Reuters
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Entertainment lawyer Richard Marks was one of two expert witnesses presented by Depp’s team

Entertainment lawyer Richard Marks and intellectual property specialist Doug Bania testified as expert witnesses, both telling the court they had looked into the impact of the Washington Post article on reputations and careers by Depp.

Describing why Heard’s column was different from previous articles that had been written about his allegations, Mr Marks said it was published in a “flagship newspaper, if you will, of American current affairs” – not a ” trade journal” or a “rag” and the article was “intended for Hollywood”.

Hollywood had the subject “loud and clear,” he said, and that the column was “devastating” for Depp.

Mr Bania said his research, based on Google Analytics and “Q Scores” – which measure a celebrity’s likeability – showed the article had had a negative impact on Depp’s reputation. “Fewer people liked him,” following Heard’s allegations and the Washington Post article, Mr. Bania said, and coverage also turned negative.

However, Heard’s team raised questions about Mr Bania’s evidence, saying the impact was greater after the first allegations were published in 2016 than after the 2018 column.

Depp vs. Heard: The Context

Actors Amber Heard and Johnny Depp attend the premiere of "The rum journal" at the Museum of Modern Art on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 in New York.  (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
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Heard and Depp pictured at the New York premiere of The Rum Diary in 2011. Photo: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

The former couple began dating after meeting on the set of 2011 film The Rum Diary and married in Los Angeles in February 2015. They separated in May 2016, with Heard filing for a restraining order. prohibition.

Depp is now suing Heard for $50m (£38.2m) in Fairfax County Circuit Court, Virginia, over the 2018 first-person article in which she describes herself as “a personality representing domestic violence”.

Heard’s column does not mention Depp by name, but he argues it is an example of ‘implied defamation’ as parts of the article clearly refer to the abuse allegations she made. in 2016 when she filed for divorce and obtained a temporary restraining order against him. . Heard has issued a counterclaim for $100m (£76.4m).

Read more:
The UK lawsuit against The Sun – what happened?

Why are Depp and Heard in court again?

Depp strenuously denies the abuse allegations – and so far the trial has heard from several witnesses who claim Heard physically assaulted him. However, Heard and his witnesses have yet to begin their testimony.

The trial has now entered its fourth week and is expected to last six weeks in total, with a one-week break next week.

In opening statementsThe actor’s lawyers said his ex was preparing for “the performance of a lifetime” during the trial, while his legal team said the case would expose the “real” person behind the “fame” and ” pirate costume”.

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