Johnny Depp trial: Petition to remove Amber Heard from Aquaman sequel reaches 2 million signatures

Long-running petition has a goal of three million signatures, amid Heard’s trial against ex-husband Johnny Depp

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A petition to remove Amber Heard from Aquaman 2 has reached two million signatures, as the defamation trial brought by the actor’s ex-husband, Johnny Depp, continues.

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. Aquaman 2 is scheduled for release in March 2023.

The petition – which states a goal of reaching three million signatures – has been set up by fans who claim that Heard “has systematically crusaded to ruin Depp in Hollywood” since the couple divorced in 2017.

The Independent has contacted Heard’s representative and Wan for comment.

Heard is being sued by Depp for $50m (£38.2m). He alleges that Heard implied that he abused her in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed about domestic violence.

The trial is well underway in Fairfax County, Virginia.  On Wednesday 27 April, further testimony was given by two police officers who responded to a domestic violence call at an LA penthouse where Heard was staying in May 2016.

The officers said they found no evidence of a crime, and that Heard “refused to give any statement”.

Actor Amber Heard listens in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Va., Wednesday, April 27, 2022

The online petition to remove Heard from the Aquaman sequel gained traction in November 2020, reaching 1.5 million signatures following Depp’s exit from the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

Depp resigned from the franchise – which was recently released with Mads Mikkelson taking over the role – at the request of Warner Bros after Depp lost a libel case against The Sun over a 2018 article that called him a “wife beater”.

Heard previously condemned the campaign to have her removed from the film. She denied that the outcome of the Depp libel case had any impact on her own franchise, confirming that she was due to film the sequel.

“Paid rumours and paid campaigns on social media don’t dictate [casting decisions] because they have no basis in reality,” Heard said in a statement. “Only the fans actually made Aquaman and Aquaman 2 happen. I’m excited to get started next year.”

You can follow along with updates from the court case on The Independent’s live blog here.

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