Talent manager Jack Whigham testified Monday in Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, saying the impact of the Washington Post op-ed Heard wrote was “catastrophic” for the actor’s career.
Whigham spoke remotely via video from Los Angeles, and said in 2017 Depp had a very busy filming schedule. That year the actor worked on “City of Lies,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” “Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald,” and independent film “The Professor,” earning him $35 million.
Whigham, who described himself as an attorney and manager, said he also negotiated Depp’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” 6 deal in 2017, which totaled $22.5 million. But in 2019, it became clear that Disney had decided to “go in a different direction.”
In 2018, Depp filmed “Waiting for the Barbarians” for $1 million. In 2019, Whigham negotiated a $3 million deal for Depp to film “Minimata.” Whigham told the court the movie was supposed to start filming in January. “It was very, very difficult to keep Minimata together. The financing became shaky, the budget had to come down. Johnny’s fee came down in order to save the movie.”
When asked what made Heard’s op-ed different from any other articles written about Depp, Whigham told the court it “was a first-person account coming from the victim.”
“After the op-ed it was impossible to get him a studio film,” Whigham said.
Last week Depp’s former CAA agent Christian Carino told the court the actor’s various legal disputes had become a “distraction,” making him unemployable.
In another development Monday, Depp’s bodyguard told the court the actor and Heard began arguing regularly after returning from a trip to Australia. “Every other night,” Travis McGivern said.
“It was typically Mr. Depp trying to get out of there … trying to convince Ms. Heard to let us leave,” McGivern said. He told the court Heard would often call Depp names, “f—ing dead-beat dad, f—ing washed up, f—ing c—. You name it, she spewed it.”
McGivern also recalled a fight between the couple in which he said Heard threw a Red Bull and hit Depp in the back, spit at him and punched him. “I heard and saw a closed fist contact Mr. Depp in the left side of his face,” McGivern said.
In retaliation, Depp went into Heard’s closet and knocked down every clothing and shoe rack and threw at least one down the stairs, according to McGivern’s testimony.
Heard is expected to take the stand on Tuesday.