An entertainment industry expert testified Monday that Amber Heard lost $45 million to $50 million in endorsements and TV and movie revenue over claims she falsified allegations of domestic violence against ex-husband Johnny Depp.
Heard’s team called the expert, Kathryn Arnold, as well as a psychiatrist and an orthopedic surgeon as the defamation lawsuit entered its sixth and final week. Heard’s lawyers were also scheduled to call Depp on Monday, but in the end they decided not to need his testimony. Depp testified for more than four days in April.
Heard’s side is trying to prove she suffered a serious setback in her career after Depp’s attorney Adam Waldman accused her of committing an “abuse hoax” in 2020. Arnold testified that Heard cannot find work in major studio projects because of the amount of online vitriol she continues to face.
“In the industry, they love her job,” Arnold said. “But they can’t work with her now.”
Arnold compared Heard’s earnings to a range of other “similar” actors—Jason Momoa, Ana de Armas, Gal Gadot, Zendaya, and Chris Pine—to draw conclusions about what her career path might have looked like had it not been for Waldman’s statements.
Heard made $1 million for her role as Mera in “Aquaman,” which grossed $1 billion in 2018, and $2 million for “Aquaman 2,” which is due out next year. Heard has claimed she had to “fight” to stay in the sequel, and has said her role was cut significantly. Arnold testified that Heard should have been able to renegotiate her “Aquaman 2” salary for $4 million or more, but couldn’t because she had no influence.
When cross-examined, Depp’s attorney Wayne Dennison disagreed with some of the compositions, suggesting the actors are more famous than Heard. By questioning her about other actors, Dennison made Arnold reveal that she doesn’t know who Patrick Wilson is. (He was a co-star in “Aquaman.”)
Dennison noted that the damage to Heard’s career may have been due to the negative press associated with the 2020 defamation trial in the UK. Dennison also argued that Depp is not responsible for the negative social media campaign targeting Heard.
Depp’s team is expected to call their own witnesses on Tuesday and Wednesday to refute Heard’s claim. They are also expected to play a statement from Walter Hamada, the president of DC Films, who is expected to state that Heard experienced no setbacks during her casting in the sequel to “Aquaman.”
Depp sued Heard for $50 million in 2019, claiming she defamed him when she described herself as a “public figure who represents domestic violence” in a Washington Post op-ed. Heard filed a defamation counterclaim after Waldman accused her of committing a “hoax.”
Much of the trial centered on often gruesome allegations of violence, as well as Depp’s drug and alcohol use. Depp has accused Heard of throwing a vodka bottle at him at a house in Australia, cutting the tip of his right fingertip.
Heard’s team called Richard Moore, an orthopedic surgeon, who testified that the injury was inconsistent with Depp’s report. Heard has said he probably cut it when he broke a phone, and Moore testified it would also have been consistent with squeezing an accordion-style door.
Heard’s lawyers also called a psychiatrist, David Spiegel, who testified that Depp’s behavior was consistent with substance use disorder and that he was a perpetrator of intimate partner violence. Spiegel also testified that Depp’s memory appeared to be damaged by substance abuse.
Depp’s team has indicated that both Depp and model Kate Moss, Depp’s ex-girlfriend, will be called as rebuttal witnesses on Wednesday. However, the schedules remain fluid.