Amber Heard rested her case Tuesday, the second day of the sixth week of $50 million defamation lawsuit brought against her by ex-husband Johnny Depp in Fairfax County, Virginia. In a major letdown to court watchers, Heard’s counsel decided not to drag Depp to the witness box, saying in a statement that “calling Depp back to the stand would be as relevant to us as a bicycle to a fish.”
Also on Tuesday, Judge Penney Azcarate denied a motion from Depp’s attorneys to toss the $100 million counterclaim Heard filed against him, ruling that there was enough evidence to let a jury decide if Depp’s former lawyer, Adam Waldman, was acting as an agent for Depp when he called Heard’s abuse allegations an “abuse hoax.”
The judge rejected the argument that Heard should be suing Waldman, not Depp, and also did not agree with the actor’s current lawyer, Benjamin Chew, that Heard cannot necessarily prove that Waldman made the statements with “actual malice.”
Heard’s lawyer argued, “She did not conspire with her friends to create a hoax; she did not create a hoax herself.”
Getting on with the death throes of the case, the next witness was Warner Bros. president Walter Hamada, who dismissed the idea perpetuated by Heard & Co. that her troubles with Depp were the cause of her troubles with Aquaman 2—which, who even really knows if she’s still in at this point.
“The character’s involvement is what is was from the beginning, [in the] early developments of the script,” Hamada testified.
Moreover, Heard was never supposed to be the movie’s co-star in the first place, Hamada said, swearing before the court that Aquaman 2 was conceived as more of a “buddy comedy.”
There was some delay in Aquaman 2, however, because of “talks about re-casting.” This wasn’t due to negative public reaction swirling around Depp, Hamada said, but in-house worries about chemistry.
“Did the two have chemistry?” was the studio’s question, Hamada said. “They didn’t have a lot of chemistry together.”
Eventually, the question became, “Would we be better off with someone who had natural chemistry?”
In the first Aquaman, the movie boss explained, achieving chemistry between Heard and co-star Jason Momoa “took a lot of effort.”
A further sign that Depp wasn’t exactly an anchor weighing Heard down were Aquaman test screenings where, Hamada recalled, “She tested well.”
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.