Disney dropped Johnny Depp from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise four days after Amber Heard’s op-ed in The Washington Post, his attorneys allege, and they see the events as connected.
Johnny Depp’s lawyers just filed a $50 million defamation suit against Amber Heard, arguing her abuse allegations “were part of an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity for Ms. Heard and advance her career.” Since the op-ed was published on December 18, the lawsuit also suggests it was done to help promote her film Aquaman.
Amber Heard’s op-ed was titled “I spoke up against sexual violence and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.” According to Johnny Depp’s team, per The Blast and People, her allegations that he was abusive were “categorically and demonstrably false” and were refuted by police, neutral witnesses, and 87 surveillance cameras.
As you might imagine, Amber Heard does not see it that way. Her rep said, in a statement:
This frivolous action is just the latest of Johnny Depp’s repeated efforts to silence Amber Heard. She will not be silenced. Mr. Depp’s actions prove he is unable to accept the truth of his ongoing abusive behavior. But while he appears hell-bent on achieving self destruction, we will prevail in defeating this groundless lawsuit and ending the continued vile harassment of my client by Mr. Depp and his legal team.
Johnny Depp, now 55, and Amber Heard, 32, met on the set of The Rum Diary in 2011, and started dating fresh off his relationship with Vanessa Paradis. Depp and Heard’s marriage was short-lived, only lasting from February 2015 until she filed for divorce in May 2016.
Since then, it’s been a he said/she said back and forth with their respective teams. But now we can add the allegation that Amber Heard defamed Johnny Depp to the point that Disney — very quick to dump anyone perceived as problematic — reportedly dropped him as Captain Jack Sparrow due to her op-ed.
There were no official announcements about that film last year, but that’s not unusual. There was, however, speculation that Disney could save $90 million by writing Johnny Depp out of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. So that has to be added as a potential factor in Depp allegedly being dropped from the franchise.