Johnny Depp’s former agent opened up on Thursday about how the actor’s career and reputation were destroyed by his alcohol and drug problems.
United Talent Agency’s Tracey Jacobs told jurors in Depp’s libel lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard that the actor went from being “the biggest star in the world” to a liability studios were wary of because of his “unprofessional behavior”.
Depp had become famous for regularly showing up late to set and delaying filming, Jacobs said. At some point, the actor had to start wearing an earpiece to get his lines transmitted to him.
“His star had faded as it became more difficult to find him a job given the reputation he had gained due to being late and other things,” Jacobs said, adding that “people were talking” of his drug addiction.
The testimony directly contradicts one of Depp’s main allegations against his ex: that a December 2018 op-ed Heard wrote in The Washington Post led to it being boycotted by Hollywood. He claimed he was cut off from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise shortly after the column was published – which did not specifically name him but described “domestic violence” in a time frame consistent with their marriage.
On Thursday, Jacobs detailed Depp’s immense popularity before his issues, which she attributed to alcohol and drug use, became a dealbreaker for the studios.
Depp received $25 million up front with compensation for starring in the 2017 films Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, according to Jacob. She said her agreement Murder on the Orient Expressreleased the same year, earned him “$5 million for four consecutive weeks [of work] plus a great backend, for which he later received a lot of money.
When asked if Depp had acted in a major film since Depp fired her in 2016, Jacobs said he was considered for The invisible Man but that Universal ended up doing it “on a much lower budget with a woman.”
“At the start, the crews liked him because he was still so good with [them]”, Jacobs said from the booth, “but crews don’t like to sit around for hours and hours waiting for the movie’s star to show up. He also toured the city. People are talking. It’s a small community. It made people reluctant to use it towards the end.
Further disputing Depp’s alleged injuries as a result of Heard’s op-ed, Disney production executive Tina Newman said she was unaware that the column played a role in the choice of the business of not moving forward with another episode in the pirate franchise. She pointed to emails from Disney executives Sean Bailey, Alan Horn and Alan Bergman discussing issues with Depp on and off set.
Depp’s current agent, Jack Whigham, previously testified that Depp was to be paid $22.5 million for reprising his role as Jack Sparrow in the sixth pirate movie, but that Disney went in a different direction after Heard’s op-ed.
After his role as the evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald in Warner Bros.’ fantastic beasts franchise being revamped, Depp has not appeared in any major studio films. His most recent film, Minamata, got a theatrical release in the United States a year after its originally scheduled date. Director Andrew Levitas complained that MGM, which held the film’s North American rights, was burying Minamata due to the abuse allegations against Depp.
Jurors also saw testimony from Adam Waldman – one of Depp’s attorneys, who was fired from the case after leaking information covered by a protective order to the press – regarding his role in an alleged campaign of libel brought against Heard, by Depp, after she publicly alleged that he had abused her.
Heard’s lawyers tried to get Waldman to admit that he had made statements to the press on Depp’s behalf claiming that Heard’s abuse allegations were a hoax, but he was largely successful in dodging questions by citing the attorney-client privilege.
In a statement to The daily mail, Waldman claimed Heard “tricked Mr. Depp into calling the cops,” referring to a visit by law enforcement to the couple’s home, after which Heard declined to press charges against Depp for domestic abuse. He said in another: ‘We have reached the beginning of the end of Ms Heard’s abuse hoax against Johnny Depp.’
When asked if he had reason to believe Heard was lying, Waldman pointed to witnesses who testified ‘in various forms at different times that there were no facial injuries’ as a result. of a May 2016 incident in which Depp allegedly threw a phone at Heard. and beat her. Depp argued that Heard faked his injuries, which were used to get a domestic violence restraining order.
Waldman added that videos and photographs provided to him by Marilyn Manson, a close friend of Depp, “disproved” Heard’s claim that the actor beat her on Thanksgiving in 2013.
Jurors also heard testimony from Joel Mandel, Depp’s former business manager. He detailed the collapse of the actor’s finances after his spending became “unsustainable”. This followed Jacobs’ testimony, in which she recounted a case in 2016 where Depp asked UTA for $20 million, which agency partners Jeremy Zimmer and Jim Berkus refused. UTA then secured him a loan.
Depp sued Mandel and his other former managers for $25 million in 2017, accusing them of stealing money from him. Joel and Robert Mandel’s management group counterattacked, saying Depp had spent millions of dollars on multiple homes, wine and private jets, among other expenses they told him he couldn’t afford. to permit. (The cases were settled in 2018.)