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Johnny Depp: Disney wanted to cut ties on ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ ‘to be safe’

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Los Angeles, April 21 (IANS): Hollywood star Johnny Depp has acknowledged that Disney was already wary of working with him before former-wife Amber Heard wrote an op-ed alluding to her abuse claims in December 2018, as his cross-examination got underway in a Virginia courtroom.
Depp has accused Heard of ruining his career by publishing the piece. He is suing her for $50 million, alleging that her claims were fabricated and that she is the one who beat him. Under questioning from his own lawyer, Depp said that Disney dropped him from the sixth installment of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ days after the piece was published.
The film has not been produced and is currently in “dangle mode,” he testified, reports ‘Variety’. But on cross-examination, Heard’s attorney, Ben Rottenborn, asked about a Daily Mail article from October 2018, which reported that Depp was “out as Jack Sparrow.”
“I wasn’t aware of that, but it doesn’t surprise me,” Depp testified on Wednesday.
“Two years had gone by of constant worldwide talk about me being this wife beater. So I’m sure that Disney was trying to cut ties to be safe. The #MeToo movement was in full swing at that point.”
Heard first accused Depp of domestic violence when she filed for a restraining order in 2016. Those claims were resolved when the couple’s divorce was settled a few months later, and he and Heard issued a joint statement which included the line that “neither party has made false accusations for financial gain.” Depp said that lawyers had crafted the statement, and that he had wanted to fight the allegations because “there was not a molecule of truth to it.”
But in the end, he agreed to pay her $7 million – which she promised to donate to charity – to resolve the divorce.
“The advice I was given was to not fight it,” he testified. “I wasn’t given much of a choice.”
Depp’s suit alleges that he suffered career-ending harm when Heard revived the claims in the Washington Post piece, which alluded to Depp but did not identify him by name.
To prevail, he will have to show that the damages came from the 2018 piece and not from the earlier allegations. Depp argued that the piece did have an effect.

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The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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