SCOOP: Depp Not Returning to the Stand
Also: Warner Bros. deal with Legendary has run out. Now what?
The Transom has learned that Amber Heard’s team will not be calling ex-husband Johnny Depp back to the stand, despite expectations he would return.
“Calling Depp back to the stand would be as relevant to us as a bicycle to a fish,” says a source close to Heard. “Everything Depp has testified up to this point has been irrelevant to the heart of this case, and there’s no reason to believe it would be any different now.”
The six-week trial is set to wrap up Friday. A rep for Heard declined comment.
Depp, 58, is suing the Aquaman star for $50 million over a Washington Post op-ed where, in 2018, she called herself a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” The Pirates of the Caribbean lead claims that the article destroyed his career, causing him to lose millions in earnings (though the piece never explicitly named him).
Heard countersued Depp for $100 million, claiming defamation after he and his lawyers made statements to the press that she had fabricated her allegations.
It has been reported that those taking the stand this week include Depp ex, Kate Moss, and Warner Bros.’ Walter Hamada, who will testify against the Aquaman star’s claims of mistreatment by the studio. Earlier, Heard and her defense asserted that the actress had to “fight” to remain in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the franchise’s not-yet-released sequel.
Meanwhile, as public sentiment tilts towards Depp, many have noted the toxicity of TikTok’s mockery of Heard’s testimony and in other social media as a referendum against female assertiveness in what increasingly looks like a post-#MeToo era.
“The reviling of Ms. Heard has created some strange bedfellows, bringing together men’s rights activists, Depp superfans and those who simply don’t believe Ms. Heard and claim she’s hurting ‘real’ victims of abuse — some of them self-proclaimed feminists — in the cesspool of the internet misinformation machine,” wrote the New York Times’ Jessica Bennett in a column with the headline, “Why We Love to Watch a Woman Brought Low”.
“He delivered what people expected,” says one baffled observer inside the courtroom. “He delivered Captain Jack Sparrow. People waited in line from 9 p.m. at night to sleep outside the courtroom. They came to see Captain Jack Sparrow. He delivered Captain Jack Sparrow.”
Meanwhile, while a handful of stars including Kathy Griffin, Howard Stern and Julia Fox have come out in support of Heard, the rest of Hollywood is pin-drop silent, a stark difference in the almost five years since #MeToo swept the town. The Transom has learned that many Hollywood actresses have reached out privately in support, but haven't publicly voiced their support in fear of inciting the Depp armies on social media. And Time’s Up, the disgraced organization whose last big cause apparently was helping save Andrew Cuomo, is now more or less defunct.
Heard’s agent at Endeavor, Jessica Kovacevic, testified on her client’s behalf that she was slated to appear in an Amazon film alongside Gael Garcia Bernal, but was dismissed from the production following Depp attorney Adam Waldman’s comments that Heard’s claims were an “abuse hoax.”
“No one can say out loud, ‘We’re taking this away from her because of this bad press,’ because it’s nothing she did,” said Kovacevic. “It’s all hearsay, and it’s all whatever. But there’s no other reason.” Heard’s lawyer asserted that the actress should have been on a track similar to Ana de Armas, making $5-$10 million at this point in her career for the next five years.
WME has no plans to release further comments.
Says one source of the town’s silence: “The Johnny Depp machine is insane, and they don’t want the backlash.”
A LEGENDARY NEGOTIATION
Nothing ever comes easy when it comes to Legendary Entertainment’s