On Day 20 of the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, Amber Heard’s team called Kathryn Arnold, who is a former Hollywood producer and now an entertainment industry consultant and expert, and shared that she had looked into Johnny Depp’s claims for damages as a result of Amber Heard’s op-ed and Amber Heard’s damages as a result of Adam Waldman’s statements that the actress’ allegations were a hoax.
Kathryn Arnold testified that for Amber Heard, Aquaman was like a star was born moment, but she was unfortunately cut off from the second part of the movie and was given only 10 minutes of screen time because of Jason Momoa, who is the lead actor of the movie, James Wan, the director of the movie, committed to her that she was in the sequel. The former Hollywood producer shared that Amber Heard’s character, Mera, for Aquaman 2 had a strong romantic arc with Jason Momoa and some great action sequences, and she had started to prepare for it, but when she got on the set for her costume fitting she was told that her role had been diminished (10 minutes of screen time). She also revealed some of the major plot points from the upcoming movie during her deposition.
While there were reports that the chemistry between Jason Momoa and Amber Heard was the reason why her character was diminished, Kathryn Arnold straightaway denied this and added that while Jason Momoa was allowed or able to renegotiate his salary for the second movie from $3M to $15M, Amber Heard was not able to do so and shared that the actress was fighting for her life to be in the movie and was paid the same amount of $2M according to her original contract. Kathryn mentioned in the courtroom that she should have been able to renegotiate her fee.
Kathryn Arnold testified that Amber Heard’s reputation had been publicized as negative among the people and in the industry and some people wanted to work with her and liked her work, but they couldn’t work with someone who, whenever mentioned, negativity flares up. Amber Heard’s witness stated to the jury that it does not make sense for the people to hire Amber Heard right now and her world has been silent in terms of opportunities, especially after Adam Waldman made a statement about Amber Heard’s accusations against Johnny Depp being a hoax.
According to the former Hollywood producer, if not faced with losses, Amber Heard would have easily made $45M to $50M over five years with her movies and TV deals, and advertisement deals. Kathryn compared Amber Heard’s career graph with fellow contemporaries such as Jason Momoa, Zendaya, Gal Gadot, and Chris Pine. On asking what might have caused the harm to Johnny Depp between December 2018 and November 2020, Kathryn stated that it was Johnny Depp himself who caused his demise by bringing these lawsuits forward and continuing to ignite the fire of negative publicity around both of them.
Kathryn Arnold said that Adam Waldman’s statement against Amber Heard had caused an immense amount of damage to the actress, and Johnny Depp’s fans started a negative social media campaign against the actress using Adam’s words and hashtags against her, which included a petition to remove Amber Heard from Aquaman 2, which has almost 4 million signatures. When Kathryn laid down Johnny Depp’s successful professional career in front of the jury, she also mentioned that his behavior on and off the set during his personal and professional time started to get to him and that it started in 2006 when he started to arrive late on sets. Kathryn Arnold mentioned that Johnny Depp’s former agent found it hard to find him roles because of his substance abuse and when he took up movies like Mortedecai and Murder on the Orient Express.
Kathryn stated that the mood in the industry against Johnny Depp started to shift during Pirates 5, which was in 2015, and his lawsuits had a huge impact on his reputation, along with an allegation that he punched a manager on the set of City of Lies. Arnold mentioned that as many hits as he has gotten, he has had a lot of failures too. She added that the trial in London in 2020 was a really tough one for him and the judge ruled out that the claims were true and Disney did not want to be associated with someone who talks about burnt corpses.
Kathryn was cross-examined by Johnny Depp’s lawyer, Wayne Dennison, and got snarky in her responses when she was asked if everyone is trying to understand how Amber Heard and Jason Momoa are comparable, who is a bigger star compared to Amber Heard, to which she kept denying and saying that she did not know. She did not follow Jason Momoa’s fan base even though she was making claims about him. Similarly, for other actors, Gal Gadot was in Fast and Furious movies before she was Wonder Woman, and Zendaya was working on Disney Channel before her career took off, so comparing Amber Heard to these celebrities does not seem right.
Kathryn mentioned that Adam Waldman’s statements against Amber Heard had resulted in her losing a lot, and Wayne stated that Kathryn could not blame Amber Heard’s bad publicity on Adam’s statement, to which she said that it can be called an investigating event and explained that Amber Heard was able to recover from the publicity that surrounded their divorce but not what followed after Adam Waldman’s statements.