Johnny Depp’s agent testified on Monday that the actor was set to receive $22.5 million for “Pirates of the Caribbean 6.”
The 58-year-old actor is currently suing his ex-wife Amber Heard for defamation over a December 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse”. She also countersuing him.
In the fourth week of the trial at Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia, Depp’s talent agent Jack Whigham took to the witness stand. Whigham, who represented Depp at Creative Artists Agency and later at Range Media Partners, claimed that the op-ed brought his client’s career to a halt, reports Variety.
He alleged that he had “closed a deal” for the actor to be paid $22.5 million to play Captain Jack Sparrow once again for a sixth Pirates film. However, by early 2019, he insisted that it “became clear (Disney executives) were going in a different direction.”
“After the op-ed, it was impossible to get him a studio film, which is what we normally would have been focussed on in that time period,” said Whigham.
He also told the court, “It was a first-person account coming from the victim. It became a death-knell catastrophic thing for Mr. Depp in the Hollywood community.”
Upon cross-examination, Heard’s attorney Elaine Bredehoft noted there was no written proof showing that a deal had been made for that figure. Whigham insisted that he sometimes made verbal agreements on behalf of his clients.
“It would be fair to say I have never seen a document… I have not seen ’22 million’ written down on a page, you’re correct about that,” Whigham admitted, reports People.
Bredehoft also said earlier testimony suggested Disney executives were not likely to work with Depp on another Pirates film as early as autumn 2018. Whigham responded by insisting the franchise’s producer Jerry Bruckheimer was advocating on Depp’s behalf.
“It was trending badly in the late fall on behalf of Disney,” he testified. “But Jerry Bruckheimer and I were lobbying to make it happen, and so we had hope. And it became clear to me in early 2019 that it was over.”
Depp’s testimony concluded last week and Heard is expected to testify in the coming days.
The trial continues.
– Cover Media