Johnny Depp’s attorneys believe that his ex-wife Amber Heard’s op-ed in The Washington Post was a factor in the actor’s firing from his long-standing role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Deep’s lawyers just filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard, arguing that her abuse allegations in the op-ed last December “were part of an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity and advance her career.” The basis for their case rests on the points that Disney dropped Depp as the boisterous pirate only four days after Heard’s article – titled “I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change” – was published, and that the timing of it would help send publicity towards her latest film, Aquaman.
Heard obviously doesn’t see it that way and in a recent statement, her rep said the following:
“This frivolous action is just the latest of Johnny Depp’s repeated efforts to silence Amber Heard. She will not be silenced. Mr. Depp’s actions prove he is unable to accept the truth of his ongoing abusive behavior. But while he appears hell-bent on achieving self destruction, we will prevail in defeating this groundless lawsuit and ending the continued vile harassment of my client by Mr. Depp and his legal team.”
Depp, now 55, had played the role of Captain Jack Sparrow for 14 years across five films, starting in 2003 with The Curse of the Black Pearl and ending in 2017 with Dead Men Tell No Tales. The ugly public battles between the actor and his ex-wife haven’t suppressed Depp completely, though, as he recently starred as the main villain in Fantastic Beats: The Crimes of Grindelwald and is expected to return for the next three films in the franchise.
As for Pirates of the Caribbean, Depp’s involvement with it seemed up in the air even before all of this. After all, Disney had already expressed confidence in its ability to survive without him, but that was in reference to a reboot attracting audiences with an entirely new cast. A reboot which just lost its writers, mind you.
For now, it seems that the future of the property as a whole remains unclear, but if one thing’s for certain, it’s that Depp won’t be returning when the franchise sets sail again.