Amber Heard: Aquaman 2 petition reaches 4.5 million signature target

Change.org petition to have Heard cut from the movie reached its target a day after Johnny Depp won the defamation trial

Pirates of the Caribbean boat driven past Depp v Heard courthouse as jury deliberates

A petition to remove Amber Heard from Aquaman 2 has officially reached its target of 4.5 million signatures, the day after a jury found in favour of Johnny Depp in the former couple’s defamation trial.

The DC sequel – in which Heard stars as Aquaman’s love interest Mera – concluded shooting earlier this year, with director James Wan confirming the film had wrapped in January.

Since reaching the 4.5 million target earlier today (2 June), the petition has now announced a new target of 6 million, which would make it one of the top signed online petitions on Change.org.

The petition first gained traction in November 2020, reaching 1.5 million signatures following Depp’s exit from the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

However, it was revitalised during Depp and Heard’s trial. Depp sued Heard for $50m (£40m) for allegedly implying he abused her in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed about domestic violence.

Heard countersued for $100m (£80m), accusing him of orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her and describing his own lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment”.

On Wednesday (1 June), the jury shared their verdicts, finding that Heard had defamed Depp on all three counts.

Amber Heard as Mera in ‘Aquaman'

She was demanded to award him $10m (£8m) in compensatory damages and $5m (£4m) in punitive damages. Heard was found to have a partial win in her case and was awarded $2m (£1.6m) in compensatory damages, but no punitive damages.

Earlier this week, Heard’s co-star Dolph Lundgren reacted to the petition’s popularity in a new interview in which he said that the actor was “great”.

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“I worked with her on the first Aquaman, now the second one. We shot last fall in London,” he said. “She’s terrific, I had a great experience with her. She’s very kind, nice to the crew, nice to everybody, just down to earth.

Heard claimed that her role in Aquaman 2 was significantly pared down after Depp’s team called her initial abuse claims a “hoax”. “I fought really hard to stay in the movie. They didn’t want to include me in the film,” Heard testified in court.

Aquaman 2 is scheduled for release in March 2023.

You can find more updates on The Independent’s live blog here.

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