While the ongoing legal battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is largely focused on serious topics like domestic abuse, the actual lawsuit filed by Depp, and the countersuit filed by Heard, are really about defamation. Both sides are claiming that due to statements made by the other, they have been financially damaged. Amber Heard’s side has now given more details about how close the actress actually came to being let go from the forthcoming Aquaman sequel. It sounds like it could have happened, and Warner Bros. said it was because of the way she worked with Jason Momoa on screen.
In a pre-recorded deposition, covered by EW, Amber Heard’s agent Jessica Kovacevic said that Warner Bros did consider recasting Amber Heard for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. She said WB never specifically cited the Depp/Heard split as the reason for considering to recast the actress. According to Kovacevic, the studio claimed that there was a lack of chemistry between Heard and Aquaman star Jason Momoa, and that was why the recasting was considered.
Back in early 2021, there were rumors that Amber Heard may have been, or at least could be, fired from Aquaman 2. With rumors it’s always difficult to know what to believe. Even if they turn out to be untrue, there can sometimes be some truth in them. Amber Heard and others would quickly try to squash such rumors, and they never rose beyond the rumor stage, so from the outside there never seemed to be much to them.
In this case, it seems the possibility of Amber Heard being out of the Aquaman franchise were quite real. Heard’s side is arguing that the issues of “chemistry” were just a pretext, and the truth is WB didn’t “want to hire someone who has bad press.” This is the core of Heard’s defamation case, that the bad press surrounding her, due to Depp’s public statements, has cost her professionally.
Johnny Depp’s initial defamation lawsuit stems from his argument that Amber Heard’s claims of domestic abuse directly led to Disney’s decision to continue the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise without Depp. Following this, supporters of Depp began a campaign to push for Heard to lose her Aquaman role. While the actress was not recast for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Heard has already testified that her role in the sequel was paired down from what it was in earlier versions of the script.
This case is certainly far from over. Both sides will continue to try and show that they have suffered due to the statements of the other, while also defending themselves against the same accusations. This case is far from over and many eyes are glued on it to see what happens next.
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