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Entertainment consultant says Johnny Depp ushered in his own career decline

An entertainment consultant claimed Depp's reputation for alleged drug and alcohol abuse and tardiness on sets caught up to him.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp
Photos by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images and John Phillips/Getty Images. Remix by Danny Peterson.

An entertainment consultant hired by Amber Heard’s team testified she believed Johnny Depp ushered in his own career decline amid a trial of dueling defamation lawsuits.

Kathryn Arnold, an entertainment consultant, testified Depp’s reputation for showing up late to movie sets and alleged drug and alcohol abuse caught up to him. When asked her opinion about who was at fault for Depp’s career decline, she said he was the one to blame.

She also said Depp filing various lawsuits also brought negative attention to himself.

Though Depp previously stated he lost a deal on starring in Pirates of the Caribbean 6, Arnold disputed that claim, saying the movie had not even been greenlit yet.

According to Arnold’s assessment, a 2018 op-ed penned by Heard and at the center of the trial had “zero” impact on Depp losing Pirates 6

Arnold also frequently cited a finger injury that Depp sustained that happened in Australia while he was filming Pirates 5 and caused delays for the film.

The incident has been spoken about frequently during the trial; Depp claims Heard threw a vodka bottle at his hand, which shattered, causing his finger to get cut off. However, Heard claims she believes Depp allegedly cut off his own finger.

Arnold also said the character of Jack Sparrow, which Depp had portrayed throughout the Pirates franchise, was creatively tapped out. 

Arnold also testified that Aquaman, the highest-grossing DC film at the time of its release, was Heard’s “star is born” moment. 

Conversely, Arnold said Heard’s career was negatively impacted following litigation brought against her by Depp. Examples Arnold gave include her role in Aquaman 2 being questioned, Heard being told not to come to Aquaman and The Stand promotions, and her career not being on the upward trajectory she would have expected from similarly-situated stars, such as being allegedly underpaid for The Stand than what she’d normally be able to competitively negotiate.

The court battle, unfolding in a courtroom in Fairfax, Virginia, centers on an op-ed Heard wrote for the Washington Post in 2018, in which she describes herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Though Depp isn’t named in the article, Heard made prior allegations of abuse against Depp in 2016, which he claims are false and are referenced in the piece.

Depp is suing Heard for $50 million for defamation for allegedly false domestic abuse accusations she made against him that he said hurt his career. Heard is counter-suing Depp, also for defamation, for $100 million.

While Heard maintains she was abused by Depp, Depp claims just the opposite: he was abused by her and not the other way around.

Danny Peterson
About the author

Danny Peterson

Danny Peterson covers entertainment news for WGTC and has previously enjoyed writing about housing, homelessness, the coronavirus pandemic, historic 2020 Oregon wildfires, and racial justice protests. Originally from Juneau, Alaska, Danny received his Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Alaska Southeast and a Master's in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Oregon. He has written for The Portland Observer, worked as a digital enterprise reporter at KOIN 6 News, and is the co-producer of the award-winning documentary 'Escape from Eagle Creek.'