Amber Heard wearing red wig as Mera and looking shocked at Jason Momoa in Aquaman
youtube | Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Witness Claims Jason Momoa Protected Amber Heard From Aquaman 2 Firing

An entertainment industry consultant testified in a surprise trial update that Amber Heard could have been fired from Aquaman 2 if not for director James Wan and co-star Jason Momoa's intervention.

This came to light during Johnny Depp's ongoing $50 million defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife, who has since countersued Depp and alleged that his lawyer's characterization of her abuse allegations as a "hoax" has damaged her career.

Over the past two years, we've seen petitions call for Heard to be removed from Aquaman 2 as a result of these claims and while that turned out not to occur, her legal team is now arguing that such efforts have been more effective than they may have seemed.

And in the process of backing up these claims, a witness called by her lawyers dropped a revelation that has not been made public until now.

Primarily, Amber Heard's $100 million countersuit against Johnny Depp centers around statements his lawyer Adam Waldman made to The Daily Mail in 2020.

Johnny Depp smiling in grey suit in courtroom
Getty Images | Shawn Thew

According to NBC News, these statements described Heard as consciously orchestrating a "hoax" by accusing Depp of domestic violence in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed that did not name him.

And while Depp's lawyers have argued that these allegations brought irreparable harm to his own career, entertainment industry consultant Kathryn Arnold disputed these claims and said Depp did more harm to Heard's career than vice-versa.

Arnold argued that Depp's career was already on the decline by the time of Heard's op-ed due to a string of flops and growing reports of poor working habits on-set.

Amber Heard in bedazzled dress sitting in the back of car
instagram | @amberheard

But as Variety reported, Arnold maintained that Heard's star was on the rise before Waldman's statements prompted sudden and overwhelming online backlash every time a major studio was looking to work with Heard.

As Arnold put it, "In the industry, they like her work. But they can’t work with her right now."

She went on to compare Heard's potential career trajectory to the careers now enjoyed by Jason Momoa, Ana de Armas, Gal Gadot, Zendaya and Chris Pine.

But while Depp's representatives have argued that Heard simply isn't as big a star as those actors, Arnold said that the first Aquaman movie would have been her "Star is Born" moment.

Amber Heard wearing red wig as Mera and looking shocked at Jason Momoa in Aquaman
youtube | Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

In Arnold's words, "It would have been very reasonable to believe her career would have been on an upward trajectory of those other actors."

But as she testified in court statements reported by The Wrap, that wasn't as possible when her name was immediately followed by intense backlash and those circumstances nearly cost her the opportunity to reprise her role as Mera in Aquaman 2.

As Arnold said, "Her management team fought very hard and they ultimately ended up hiring her, but not only because of what her management did, but also because star Jason Momoa and director James Wan committed to her."

Nonetheless, Arnold said that Heard's role was significantly cut down and without Depp's allegations against her, she would have been able to renegotiate her $2 million salary for that movie to $4 million.

Amber Heard holding four fingers up in Syrup
youtube | Magnolia Pictures

As Arnold saw it, this was just a drop in the bucket in terms of what Heard should have been able to earn over the last two years, which Arnold estimated as between $45 million and $50 million.

But since public opinion has clearly turned against Heard, Arnold said her "world has been silent in terms of opportunities."

In her words, "The only time her career slowed down and stopped was at the same time those defamatory statements came out."

h/t: NBC News