Amber Heard has changed PR teams ahead of her testimony in ex-husband Johnny Depp's $50 million defamation trial against the Aquaman actor.
Heard fired crisis PR firm Precision Strategies and picked up consulting firm Shane Communications on retainer to "help her get across her side better in the court of public opinion," sources close to the situation told New York Post. Additional sources claimed Heard "doesn't like bad headlines" and has become "frustrated with her story not being told effectively." Heard's new PR team previously worked against Depp in 2017 helping the actor’s former business managers, The Management Group, highlight allegations that "the Pirates of the Caribbean star needed to hire a shrink for his 'compulsive spending' habit of $2 million per month."
Depp is suing Heard for $50 million, claiming Heard's December 2018 op-ed destroyed his film career and that she was the actual abuser. Heard has denied the accusations and counter-sued Depp for $100 million in defamation. The trial began in April and is expected to last five weeks. Depp has already testified and spent four days on the witness stand.
Some negative headlines from the trial focused on Heard's involvement with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU had a hand in the actor's op-ed, which used the actor's experiences to address the Violence Against Women Act and sexual assault on college campuses. Terence Dougherty, ACLU's general counsel and chief operating officer, testified during the trial and admitted that the infamous op-ed was released to build off the hype surrounding the release of the DC film Aquaman, in which Heard co-starred as Mera. "Amber is about to receive an incredible amount of press and be in the public eye," Dougherty said. "So what better a time would it be than now to put out this op-ed so that it generates significant readership about our issues."
Dougherty also testified that Heard has yet to pay approximately $2.2 million to the organization from a $3.5 million pledge made in 2016. Following her divorce from Depp, Heard pledged to split her $7 million divorce settlement between two organizations, the ACLU and a children's hospital in Los Angeles. The ACLU was set to receive the money in installments over 10 years, but Dougherty told revealed that the organization did not "receive any amounts in 2019 and on."
Heard's role in the DC Extended Universe has also come under scrutiny with a fan petition calling for her removal from 2023's Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom recently passing two million signatures at the end of April 2022. Heard was nearly dropped from the upcoming sequel over chemistry concerns with Jason Momoa, who stars as Arthur Curry/Aquaman in the DCEU. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom opens in theaters on March 17, 2023.
Source: New York Post