Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard defamation trial: Walter Hamada testifies there was 'no-chemistry' between Amber Heard and Jason Momoa
by Ana Walia | Wed, 25 May 2022 20:55:34 GMT
The closing statements are expected to be heard on Friday. Image Source: The New York Times 

After Amber Heard’s team rested their case, Johnny Depp’s team called Walter Hamada, who is the President of DC-Based Film Production, Warner Bros. Pictures, on the stand on day 21 of the defamation trial.

Walter Hamada testified via a video deposition and shared that Amber Heard’s role was not affected in any way because of Johnny Depp’s claims, lawsuit, or the statements that were made by Adam Waldman. Walter admitted that there was a week-long delay in confirming whether Amber Heard would be cast in the movie or not because there were issues raised after the filming of Aquaman. It was concluded that the pair (Amber Heard and Jason Momoa) lacked chemistry and there were some talks of Amber Heard being replaced.

Walter stated in the courthouse that for the first part, editorially they were able to make that relationship work, but Warner Bros. wanted someone who had natural chemistry with Jason Momoa, and he revealed that he spoke to the actor when the sequel was greenlit but did not reveal what he said. During the cross-examination, Elaine Bredehoft asked Walter Hamada if it’s not uncommon for the lead of a movie to not have natural chemistry, to which he explained that it’s all done by the editorial team.

Walter explained to the court that with an editorial team, one can fabricate the chemistry between two people, but it’s too much work and sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s hard. On asking how one can fabricate the chemistry, Walter explained that it starts with picking the right takes, the right moments, and putting those scenes together with music. He concluded that it’s all the magic of post-production, editing, sound, and music and added that post-production for Aquaman was difficult because of a lack of chemistry, but the experts were able to get it to a place where it looked nice on-screen.

During the cross-examination, Walter Hamada denied that Warner Bros. was considering paying Amber Heard more for the sequel because a big part of their philosophy was to hold actors to their original agreements. Amber Heard’s team stated that the actress could have renegotiated her fees for the movie if not for the negative publicity, which was followed by the lawsuit and Adam Waldman’s statements. Walter Hamada straightway denied the fact that and had mentioned to Johnny Depp’s lawyers’ questions that from the early stages of the movie, it was supposed to be built around the characters of Arthur and Orm, played by Jason Momoa and Patrick Wilson. Walter added that those two were always the co-leads of the movie and not Amber Heard, and admitted that the movie was always envisioned as a buddy comedy between Jason and Patrick.

Dr. David Kulber, who operated on Johnny Depp’s finger following the Australia's incident, was also called upon to testify and said that Johnny Depp had his other hand thrown over the racks of clothes and shoes in 2015 when asked if he could throw something. He explained to the jury that the surgery was needed because of a fracture and soft tissue loss, and he had put Johnny Depp’s hand in a splint with plaster on top and bottom to protect the hand. Dr. David Kulber also revealed that Johnny Depp kept a pin in his finger for about 12 days, and he was treated for several months because he had developed an infection and had to be on antibiotics for some time.

Later, Richard Marks, a Hollywood expert and entertainment lawyer, was once again called upon to verify the claims of Kathryn Arnold, who stated that Amber Heard had lost out on a major amount after the statements by Adam Waldman were made which branded her as a hoax. Richard mentioned that, according to him, Kathryn Arnold is very slick and smooth, but she is no expert in deal-making and her assessment of the damages is built on nothing but speculation.

Richard Marks mentioned that Amber Heard cannot be compared with Jason Momoa since he had been working for a long time with like he was in Game of Thrones and played Conan the Barbarian, which cannot be compared, so it does not matter if he renegotiated his contract for the series. He was also asked about Kathryn Arnold's claims that Amber Heard was released from her contract and rehired for Aquaman 2 which he said that it does not happen because Studios are not obligated to do what they don't want to do. 

As a social media expert and Internet analyst, Doug Bania was also called upon to verify the claims of Ron Schnell, in which he said that Ron did not provide any evidence of a correlation between statements by Adam Waldman and spikes in negative hashtags about Amber Heard. Doug also said that Kathryn Arnold came up with actors that are not comparable to Amber Heard to evaluate her loss of income. Dough also examined the 2.7 million tweets Ron used in his analysis for Amber Heard’s legal team and said that they showed no correlation.

Doug mentioned that the largest spike related to #justiceforjohnnydepp occurred in February, before Adam Waldman's statements. The social media expert concluded that the hashtags have nothing to do with the Waldman statements and revealed that between April 2020 and January 2021 he just found five tweets related to comments by Adam Waldman. He stated that he looked for specific terms mentioned by Adam, such as Abuse Hoax, which was mentioned 749 times, Sexual Violence Hoax was never mentioned and Fake Sexual Violence was mentioned twice and concluded that it made a total of 751 tweets, or 0.06 percent of the 1.2 million tweets in this period using the hashtags # justiceforjohnnydepp, # amberheardisanabuser, # wejustdontlikeyouamber or # amberturd.