Amber Heard, 34, has spoken out to denounce the allegedly “paid” social media campaign employing Twitter “bots” to “smear and harass” her with the ultimate aim of having her fired from the role of Mera in a sequel to Aquaman.
Earlier, the actress had confirmed she had been cast to appear in Aquaman 2, after the original 2018 movie grossed over $887 million at the box office, becoming the most successful film in the DC Extended Universe franchise.
“Paid rumours and paid campaigns on social media don't dictate [casting decisions] because they have no basis in reality. Only the fans actually made Aquaman and Aquaman 2 happen. I'm excited to get started next year,” Heard was quoted as saying by Entertainment Weekly.
Heard had spoken out publicly for the first time since her ex-husband Depp lost his High Court libel case against The Sun this month over being labelled a “wife beater”.
After the US film star lost his court libel battle against his former wife and was subsequently asked by Warner Bros to resign from his role as the evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the "Fantastic Beasts" movie franchise, Depp’s fans lashed out at Heard.
Daily reminder that these characters are iconic and no one but Johnny Depp should be allowed play them pic.twitter.com/naelNJBvlx— Depply Happy (@DepplyHappy) November 6, 2020
A petition was launched, seeking to have Warner Bros, the film’s distributor, drop Heard from her role as the undersea queen in the Jason Momoa-led superhero flick, with over a million signatures gathered since the studio required Depp to step down from the Harry Potter spin-off.
Over 1M people have signed a petition to remove Amber Heard from 'Aquaman 2' pic.twitter.com/mA06sMVA6y— Fandom (@getFANDOM) November 12, 2020
Accusing her ex-husband of orchestrating the “online smear campaign” to deny her the coveted role in the sequel to the movie that globally outgrossed a long list of comic book adaptations, and allegedly have her fired as a model for L’Oréal, Amber Heard is suing Depp for $100 million (£76 million), writes The Times.
Heard claims that Depp’s Hollywood lawyer Adam Waldman “is publicly associated with Russian individuals with the capability to organise such attacks”.
According to Amber Heard, Warner Bros had disregarded the social media abuse and gone ahead with recasting her in Aquaman.
“I’m super excited about the amount of fan love and the amount of fan appreciation that Aquaman has acquired and that it has garnered so much excitement for Aquaman and Mera that it means we’ll be coming back.”
In a continuation of the protracted court battle between the former Hollywood couple, Heard is counter-suing Depp, best known as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, in the US.
The legal action was taken after his $50 million libel claim against Heard over an article she wrote for The Washington Post.
In a US court document cited by The Times, Heard’s lawyers are reportedly claiming that Depp “is attempting to defame Ms Heard and interfere with her reputation, career and livelihood through an online smear campaign he has organised and orchestrated”.
They also allege the actor referred to his ex-spouse as a “disgusting pig”, an “inhuman scum-filled sickfish”, laying “the groundwork for the smear campaign he spearheads today”.
Johnny Depp’s legal team and the actor himself have denied any involvement in “creating a Russian bot army”.
“Amber Heard and her confederates don’t like the looming consequences of her notorious abuse hoax. Lies often require new lies to survive. So Ms Heard and her legal brain trust recently hatched a new harebrained scheme,” Depp’s lawyer was cited as saying.
Netizens have been continuing to weigh in on the continuing legal wrangling between the glamorous former couple. The reaction to the latest twist in the Heard-Depp saga was split. Some were genuinely upset over the petition, seeking to have the actress dropped from the Aquaman sequel.
Wow not cool. I want her to stay in cmon— Destro WOD (@DestroWod) November 12, 2020
Can I sign a petition to keep her on?— Ryan B (@TheChewDefense) November 12, 2020
You should keep her in it. It was a good movie with her in it.— DTWA_ZEROLESS (@DTWA_ZEROLESS) November 13, 2020
Many took the actress’s side, urging Depp fans to acknowledge that he is an “abuser”.
The thing is people can't accept Johnny is abuser , because they fixed their mind amber is liar she is the one destroyed Johnny blah blah.. . Even Jesus comes and say amber is innocent, people will stand for johnny. No one can replace her for the role , she is perfect for Mera— Hashwant Sriram (@hashwant_sriram) November 13, 2020
However, a great many fans went online to express support for Johnny Depp and deplore the fact he had been dropped from the Fantastic Beasts franchise. They also recalled how Depp had insisted that it was Heard who was violent toward him, accusing her of fabricating her injuries and complaints.
For people who's asking , here is the reason why pic.twitter.com/UK6iB5zPCo— AGarfi ❄️ (@GarfiAziz) November 13, 2020
she accused johnny depp of abusing her, leading to him losing his role in fantastic beasts 3 and pirates of the caribbean. they're in court now, and new evidence shows that she's actually the abuser, and is framing depp for DA for money and to save face— Ghaby Almeida (@AlmeidaGhaby) November 13, 2020
“do it to other actors as well” this is being done precisely because she falsely accused Johnny Depp of domestic violence and HE lost his role in 2 very important franchises.— bia (@itsmeimawkward) November 13, 2020
She accused Johnny Depp for abusing him, he lost his movies (Pirates of the C.& Fantastic beasts) and then the evidences, audio tapes showed that Amber was lying to destory him and actually he was abused by Amber (both mentally & physically)— A M (@AM59193334) November 12, 2020
Thanks for the heads up! Hopefully @wbpictures holds itself to a high standard, rather than a double standard-- and cuts her loose.— Stardust Legacy (@TheStardust77) November 12, 2020
It's been so long since Aquaman came out and it's probably gonna be awhile before we get the sequel (or any movies) would anyone even notice if she was recast?— Liam Neville (@liam_neville723) November 12, 2020
Other netizens suggested Warner Bros take the petition into consideration.
"That’s a million tickets that aren’t being bought, they should seriously consider a recast"— Diane (@Zeelianthus) November 13, 2020
Yes bc these people are all gonna opt out of seeing the movie abeg lmao https://t.co/U2KvRt7Fu5
Amber Heard first alleged domestic abuse at the hands of Johnny Depp in 2013 and in 2016, with the actor repeatedly slamming the accusations and testifying in court that it was his ex-wife who was regularly violent towards him.