After six weeks of testimony in a defamation trial that has aired the nice, unhealthy and the very ugly of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s former relationship, the case is now within the fingers of the jury.
Regardless of the verdicts in Depp’s $50 million suit and Heard’s $100 million countersuit, one thing else is true: The destiny of their respective careers will probably be determined within the courtroom of public opinion, in line with Hollywood insiders.
CNN spoke with six leisure trade consultants for this story, a few of whom spoke on background to guard skilled relationships.
Whether or not truthful or unfair, the wave of help Depp has obtained on social media in the course of the trial – especially on Tik-Tok – might serve him effectively going ahead, one veteran publicist who has recognized Depp for years informed CNN.
“I wasn’t certain what to anticipate earlier than he took the stand and if something, I imagine this has performed nothing however assist his public picture,” the supply mentioned.
One other prime Hollywood publicist, who hasn’t labored with both Depp or Heard, mentioned neither of their pictures have fared effectively.
“Each are extremely dysfunctional. Cash is poisonous and greed destroys. Nobody wins right here,” this publicist mentioned.
Depp and Heard paint one another as abusers in trial testimonies
Naturally, there are hurdles for each actors to beat as soon as their authorized battle ends.
Depp claimed a number of occasions on the stand that he has never struck a woman, denied Heard’s allegation of sexual battery and known as himself a victim of domestic abuse by Heard, which she denies.
Depp and Heard met in 2009 on the set of their movie “The Rum Diary” and had been married from 2015-2016 earlier than divorcing
Pictures in addition to audio and video recordings painted an image of two individuals in a relationship with what was characterised as “mutual abuse” by Laurel Anderson, a scientific psychologist who labored with Depp and Heard in 2015 as their marriage counselor, in testimony performed on April 14. (As an example how contentious this trial has been, the witness’s use of the time period itself has spurred criticism.)
Leisure agent Darryl Marshak thinks movie studios may – at the very least, initially – be hesitant to have interaction with the actors entangled in an issue that has performed out so publicly.
“Robert Downey Jr. gained an Academy Award after which aired his private enterprise out on the earth and folks sort of recoiled,” mentioned Marshak, who has beforehand represented stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Hillary Swank. “I believe Hollywood is an odd place. If you air your soiled laundry in entrance of the machine, the executives, all of the those that make the elements transfer, they kind of recoil from a scorching flame.”
Depp claims a 2018 op-ed by Heard through which she described herself as “a public determine representing home abuse” defamed him. He has starred in two movies for the reason that op-ed, which didn’t point out him by title, “Ready for the Barbarians” and “Minamata,” each unbiased movies.
‘Each phrase of it’s true’: Heard speaks on op-ed after break in defamation trial
Heard, whose countersuit claims she was defamed by an lawyer for Depp who known as her abuse allegations a “hoax,” will seem within the sequel to “Aquaman,” scheduled for launch in 2023.
Marshak believes Depp’s “unbelievable expertise” will assist him return to film screens.
“Hollywood can also be forgiving and because it strikes ahead and this factor stops airing and Johnny is ready to transfer fluidly again into the enterprise. I believe he’ll reemerge once more,” he mentioned. “Hollywood is a fickle place.”
The courtroom efficiency by the authorized groups for Depp and Heard – a live-streamed trial watched by hundreds of thousands – may additionally form trade perspective on the 2 stars.
“Globally, individuals have seemingly develop into polarized by the trial, we’ve watched this unfold within the press previous to its end result within the courtroom, ” Amanda Okay. Ruisi, Founder & President AKR Public Relations & AKR Ventures, informed CNN.
Ruisi believes Depp’s representatives have been simpler.
“Mr. Depp’s authorized and strategic communications workforce have performed an unimaginable job in delivering a constant message within the courtroom and all through the media, which I imagine has helped corral the help from his fan base.”
Not that Depp’s supporters wanted the nudge. The scales of social media justice are closely tipped in his favor, a lot in order that the imbalance has prompted headlines pondering the explanation behind it. One author for The Minimize requested, “Here’s a lady recounting, in agonizing element, how an especially well-known man allegedly abused her. Why, in 2022, achieve this many individuals appear to hate her for it?”
Sociologist Nicole Bedera supplied a couple of theories – each on Twitter and in an article for Harpers Bazaar – about why each feminine survivors of home abuse and many ladies interval have appeared to help Depp.
“It may be scary– and for victims, re-traumatizing – for girls to empathize with an abuse survivor. If violence actually *is* all over the place and if it *feels* like it could actually occur to anybody, then loads of ladies will begin to fear that they are going to be subsequent,” she wrote. “So is it shocking that loads of ladies are coming to Depp’s protection? No. By no means.”
Heard’s former co-star David Krumholtz has come to her protection publicly, actress Ellen Barkin testified for her protection workforce and comic Kathy Griffin, who wrote in response to a pre-trial Tweet from Heard, “I’m occupied with you and sending all of the love.”
For 2 working actors, the query as soon as courtroom is adjourned is will producers ship them scripts as reliably as onlookers have been sending Tweets?
The crux of each Heard and Depp’s lawsuits relaxation in claims that their careers – particularly their futures in respective movie franchises – have been adversely affected.
In the course of the previous a number of weeks of testimony, Depp’s workforce has tried to show that Depp, who portrayed Jack Sparrow in 5 movies, was dropped from a possible sixth movie within the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise because of Heard’s op-ed.
Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, informed The Occasions that “the long run is but to be determined,” relating to Depp’s involvement in a doable subsequent installment.
The producer mentioned that the inventive workforce is “creating two ‘Pirates’ scripts” – one that may probably have Margot Robbie because the lead and “one with out” Robbie.
The final movie was 2017’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Lifeless Males Inform No Tales.”
In a taped deposition performed for the courtroom, Depp’s former agent, Christian Carino, who started representing Depp in October 2016 and even represented Depp and Heard on the similar time, testified that he believed accusations of home violence made by Heard in opposition to Depp price the actor a paycheck that may have been price tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
And when an lawyer for Heard pressed Carino on different points Depp might have had whereas engaged on earlier “Pirates” movies, he dismissed them.
“I’m conscious of him being tardy however he’s been tardy on all the things his total life,” Carino mentioned. “I believe it’s troublesome to everyone, however everybody has discovered the way to produce a movie to take care of it.”
Different witnesses noticed his conduct as extra detrimental.
Tracey Jacobs, who testified in a recorded deposition and represented Depp for 30 years as his expertise agent earlier than being terminated, mentioned as a witness that she was trustworthy with Depp that displaying up late persistently to units and his conduct, together with drug and alcohol use, was hurting his profession.
“His star had dimmed because of it getting tougher to get him jobs given the status that he’d acquired because of his lateness and different issues,” Jacobs testified. “Folks had been speaking and the query was on the market about his conduct.”
A Hollywood director, who hasn’t labored with Depp however has met him, informed CNN that he doesn’t suppose Depp will ever helm one other main franchise.
“I imagine that Johnny Depp will have the ability to be solid in varied unbiased movies as a result of he nonetheless has vital title worth and there’s an viewers for him, nevertheless the studios will probably be extra cautious due to insurance coverage causes and due to the potential to cease safety and they might be extra involved about public backlash versus smaller unbiased corporations,” he mentioned.
With regards to Heard, the director believes the eye across the trial hasn’t helped her picture.
Presently, there’s a petition to have Heard dropped from the upcoming “Aquaman” sequel, which has already been filmed and is in post-production. (CNN and Warner Bros. are each a part of Warner Bros. Discovery.)
That probably gained’t occur. However Walter Hamada, the top of DC Movies, which produced “Aquaman,” testified that the inventive workforce had considerations about Heard resuming her position within the franchise over an absence of chemistry with co-star Jason Momoa.
He additionally mentioned the studio by no means deliberate to painting Heard as a co-lead within the second movie and that Heard’s position was not decreased within the forthcoming movie, titled “Aquaman the Misplaced Kingdom.”
No matter determination the jury renders, Juda Engelmayer, founding father of Herald PR, who has represented celebrities like disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, informed CNN that Depp’s time in courtroom – which included quirky, meme-able moments involving doodling and jelly beans – has bolstered his picture.
“His testimony, whether or not true or an act has precipitated a resurgence of followers who missed him,” he mentioned. “For his status and profession, studios see he nonetheless has a fan base,” he mentioned.
‘I knew it was incorrect’: Amber Heard testifies in defamation trial
As for Heard, whose profession was much less established than Depp’s when their relationship and troubling accusations started, that’s tougher to say, in line with sources.
Virtually a decade in the past, earlier than the drama with Depp got here to mild, Heard informed Self-importance Honest she was up for the ebbs and flows of an performing profession.
“Do you suppose you’d have pursued it when you knew it was gonna be this a lot of a circus?” Heard was requested in a 2013 interview.
“Completely,” Heard responded. “I like very a lot the wrestle that you simply’re always…you’re always put in a state of combat or flight. It’s a continuing wrestle. So I don’t know if I may have it every other method.”