Petition to remove Amber Heard from ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ accelerates to 4 million signatures

Mera Aquaman
Image via DC Entertainment/Warner Bros.

A petition to remove Amber Heard from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom continues its meteoric momentum by surpassing four million signatures even as the ongoing defamation trial she is embroiled in with ex-husband Johnny Depp is poised to resume next week after a break.

Indeed, the petition on Change.org directly references the trial, signaling all that has unfolded in the highly publicized court drama has likely contributed to more people backing it.

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

While Heard maintains she was abused by Depp, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor claims just the opposite: he was abused by her and not the other way around. Backers of the petition have evidently sided with Depp, as can be ascertained by the petition’s description.

“Amber Heard has been exposed as a domestic abuser by Johnny Depp,” the petition reads. “In his $50 million lawsuit, Johnny Depp describes many incidents of domestic abuse that he suffered at the hands of his (then) wife Amber Heard.”

Depp has alleged these incidents at the hand of Heard have included being twice punched in the face and a vodka bottle being thrown at his hand, which ended up severing his finger. On the other hand, Heard claimed Depp’s self-destructive pattern with drug and alcohol abuse apparently lead to him cutting off his own digit. What’s more, she claimed Depp often slapped and punched her, and twice sexually assaulted her.

The sheer rate at which the petition has been gaining traction is astounding, as it has gained one million new signatures since last week. At the time, the petition also saw a one million signature boost from the week before, when it had surpassed the two million mark at the end of last month. This all comes amid a trial that has been publicly broadcast from a courtroom in Fairfax, Virginia since mid-April.

Despite the court of public opinion clearly favoring Depp, it’s hard to truly suss out if Heard was actually deceitful in her domestic abuse claims since much of that determination has hinged on one person’s word against the other. However, a highly publicized audiotape, in which Heard appeared to admit to hitting Depp and starting physical fights, has been a much-cited piece of evidence for Depp-defenders ever since it leaked to the press in 2020.

Depp’s lawsuit against Heard centers around an op-ed she 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 is referenced in the piece.

The trial is expected to resume Monday, where Heard will continue her testimony under direct examination.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is expected for release on March 17, 2023, after being delayed from an original theatrical premiere slated for Dec. of this year.