Johnny Depp trial: Petition to remove Amber Heard from Aquaman sequel nears 3 million signatures

Depp is suing Heard for $50m over 2018 op-ed implying he had abused her

Maanya Sachdeva
Monday 02 May 2022 05:56
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The petition to remove Amber Heard from Aquaman 2 is nearing its goal of three million signatures as the defamation trial brought by Johnny Depp continued.

The DC sequel, in which Heard stars as Aquaman’s (Jason Momoa) love interest Mera, concluded shooting earlier this year, with director James Wan confirming the film was wrapped up in January. Aquaman 2 is scheduled for release in March 2023.

On Monday (2 May), and at the time of writing, the Change.org petition had surpassed 2.9 million signatures. It was set up by fans who claim that Heard “has systematically crusaded to ruin Depp in Hollywood” since the couple divorced in 2016.

Once it hits three million supporters, it will become one of the top petitions on Change.org.

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

Meanwhile, several other petitions related to the actor have received new and renewed interest, since Depp claimed he is a victim of intimate partner violence and abuse in his explosive, three-day testimony at the Virginia Fairfax Courthouse where the defamation trial is underway.

These petitions include one to sack Aquaman 2 producer Peter Safran for “not firing” Heard.

Depp is suing Heard for $50m (£38.2m) over a 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post in which she implied the Pirates of the Carribbean actor had abused her over the course of their relationship.

The actor claimed Heard’s article cost him major movie deals and adversely impacted his professional standing in Hollywood.

Amber Heard speaks to her legal team during her ex-husband Johnny Depp's defamation trial against her, at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, US on 28 April

The online petition to remove Heard from the Aquaman sequel began gaining 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.

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In a statement at the time, she had said: “Paid rumours and paid campaigns on social media don’t dictate [casting decisions] because they have no basis in reality.”

After the weekend break, testimony in the Depp-Heard trial is expected to resume on Monday (2 May).

After Depp’s testimony, Heard is expected to take the stand to provide her account of the couple’s tumultous marriage. While James Franco and Elon Musk were among the names on Heard’s potential witness list, The Independent last week received confirmation that neither the Tesla CEO nor the actor will take the stand.

Follow live updates of the high-profile trial here.

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