The bitter court battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has been raging this week, with the latest notable moment concerning Depp’s Pirates of the Caribbean role.
A heartthrob and independent film favourite in the 90s, it was his first outing as Jack Sparrow in 2003 that turned Depp into an acting superstar. Disney managed to convince the actor to return for four sequels in the series, but it definitely doesn’t sound like he’ll be back for a sixth Pirates film.
Depp is currently suing Heard for $50 million, insisting that the infamous December 2018 op-ed his ex-wife wrote about his alleged abuse was completely fabricated. While being questioned by his own lawyer in court on Wednesday, he said that Disney dropped him from the sixth instalment in the Pirates franchise mere days after Heard’s op-ed was published (as per Variety).
On cross-examination by Heard’s attorney, Ben Rottenborn, an earlier Daily Mail article from October 2018 was brought up, an article which stated that Depp was “out as Jack Sparrow.” “I wasn’t aware of that, but it doesn’t surprise me,” Depp said. “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.”
Depp added: “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.”
The actor noted that Disney continued to use his famous Jack Sparrow character at their various worldwide theme parks, despite removing him from Pirates 6. “They didn’t remove my character from the rides,” he explained. “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.”
Not that he seemingly cared about being involved in the sixth film anyway. Rottenborn referenced something Depp had said in his deposition about not wanting to work on Pirates 6 even if it had been offered to him.
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“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?” he asked. “That is true, Mr. Rottenborn,” Depp replied.
Bereft of its main star, the sixth Pirates of the Caribbean film hasn’t been produced yet. Depp’s cross-examination continues in court on Thursday.
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