Johnny Depp has confirmed that he has no intentions of working with Disney again for another Pirates of the Caribbean film. In the recent Amber Heard defamation case trial, Depp revealed Disney wanted to “cut ties” with him and told the courtroom that he would turn down the studio if asked to return to Pirates of the Caribbean 6, even if offered "$300 million."
Johnny Depp says he will not work on Disney’s Pirates of The Caribbean 6 even if offered $300 million during defamation trial
As Variety reports, Johnny Depp acknowledged on Wednesday that Disney was already wary of working with him before former wife Amber Heard wrote an op-ed alluding to her abuse claims in December 2018, as his cross-examination got underway in a Virginia courtroom. Depp has accused Heard of ruining his career by publishing the piece and is suing her for $50 million, alleging that her claims were fabricated. Under questioning from his own lawyer, Depp said that Disney dropped him from the sixth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean days after the piece was published. The film has not been produced and is currently in “dangle mode,” he testified.
But on cross-examination, Heard’s attorney, Ben Rottenborn, asked about a Daily Mail article from October 2018, which reported that Depp was “out as Jack Sparrow.” “I wasn’t aware of that, but it doesn’t surprise me,” Depp testified. “Two years had gone by of constant worldwide talk about me being this wife beater. So I’m sure that Disney was trying to cut ties to be safe. The #MeToo movement was in full swing at that point.” The actor also said that he won’t return to the franchise even if he was offered $300 million.
“The fact is, Mr. Depp, if Disney came to you with $300 million and a million alpacas, nothing on this earth would get you to go back and work with Disney on a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ film? Correct?” Heard’s lawyer asked to which Depp answered, “That is true, Mr. Rottenborn.”
As the outlet notes, Heard first accused Depp of domestic violence when she filed for a restraining order in 2016. Those claims were resolved when the couple’s divorce was settled a few months later, and he and Heard issued a joint statement which included the line that “neither party has made false accusations for financial gain.” Depp said that lawyers had crafted the statement, and that he had wanted to fight the allegations because “there was not a molecule of truth to it.” But in the end, he agreed to pay her $7 million, which she promised to donate to charity, to resolve the divorce. “The advice I was given was to not fight it,” he testified. “I wasn’t given much of a choice.”
Depp and his former wife are currently fighting for a multi-dollar defamation case after their divorce turned bitter in 2018. Depp's $50 million lawsuit was launched after Heard wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post, where she alleged that Depp physically and sexually abused her while Depp states that Heard was the abuser in their relationship. Depp’s suit alleges that he suffered career-ending harm when Heard revived the claims in the Washington Post piece. While Heard never named Depp in the article, the fallout did prove to be detrimental for the 58-year-old, ruining his Hollywood career since.
“I would be a real simpleton to not think that there was an effect on my career based on Ms. Heard’s words, whether they mentioned my name or not,” he said. But he also stated that his career was “done” from “the second the allegations were made against me. Once that happened, I lost then. No matter the outcome of this trial, I’ll carry that for the rest of my days… I’m suing her over defamation and the various falsities that she used to bring my life to an end.”
Depp testified that even after Disney contemplated removing him from Pirates 6, the company still featured his character at theme parks around the world. “They didn’t remove my character from the rides,” he said. “They didn’t stop selling dolls of Captain Jack Sparrow. They didn’t stop selling anything. They just didn’t want there to be something trailing behind me that they’d find.”
Depp took the stand on Tuesday, the fifth day of the trial. His attorney, Jessica Meyers, led him through several hours of testimony in which he recounted fights with Heard, including an episode in which his right middle fingertip was severed Depp alleged that Heard would repeatedly attack him and berate him, and that he would typically hide by locking himself in a bedroom or a bathroom. He denied ever getting violent with Heard. Meyers concluded her direct examination of Depp on Wednesday afternoon.
Heard’s lawyer Rottenborn's cross-examination will continue on Thursday. Heard will reportedly take the stand later on in the trial, which is expected to last about six weeks. At an earlier trial in the United Kingdom, a judge rejected Depp's defamation claim against The Sun newspaper, finding that Heard's abuse claims were "substantially true."
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