Johnny Depp’s career was damaged more by his own lawsuits than Amber Heard’s op-ed, expert says

Heard’s op-ed had basically no impact on Depp’s career, entertainment consultant Kathyrn Arnold said

Ellie Harrison
Monday 23 May 2022 21:07 BST
Heard's op-ed had basically no impact on Johnny Depp's career, expert says
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Johnny Depp’s career has been damaged more by his own lawsuits than Amber Heard’s op-ed, an expert has said.

On Monday (23 May), during Depp’s defamation trial against Heard, entertainment consultant Kathryn Arnold said Depp’s 2020 lawsuit against The Sun was “a really tough one” on his career.

Depp lost his libel battle against the publisher of The Sun newspaper over an article that claimed he was a “wife beater”. The judge reached the conclusion that the claim was “substantially true”.

Speaking on the 20th day of the new lawsuit, Arnold said of the 2020 trial: “Every allegation of abuse, every text, every email, all the audio and visual stuff was brought to light and made public. The industry was watching closely and it’s hard for studios, especially one like Disney, to be connected to a star that has texts about burnt corpses and violent behaviour.”

She added: “Every time Mr Depp brings a lawsuit, because he’s such a well-known public figure, the spotlight goes on him, whether it’s against his business manager or his former lawyer, even when he filed his talent agent, it becomes news…

“Then they look at the details. The erratic behaviour, the financial issues, the drinking and drug abuse was part and parcel of every one of those, and it was all brought to light yet again each time.”

Heard is being sued by Depp for $50m (£40.1m) for implying he abused her in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed. Although she didn’t name him, he claims her allegations impacted his ability to work.

Depp at the trial on 23 May (REUTERS)

When asked what impact Heard’s op-ed had on Depp’s claim he lost earnings for Pirates of the Caribbean 6, Arnold said: “Zero. The movie doesn’t exist yet so that’s one reason, but as important is the fact that Disney, in their file for this trial, did not have the op-ed… the conversations of Depp not being in franchise going forward were discussions before the op-ed even came out.”

On what impact the op-ed has had on Depp’s career, she said: “Very little. Hardly anybody even knew the op-ed existed before he filed the suit, if anybody who I knew, but certainly not Disney.”

Read live updates on the trial here.

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