Almost 4.5 million people don’t want Amber Heard to reprise her role as Queen Mera in the “Aquaman 2” sequel, and they let it be known via a petition on Change.org, calling for DC Warner Bros to drop the actress after her exposure “as a domestic abuser by Johnny Depp” during their multimillion-dollar court battle. This comes as the jury in the sensational defamation trial with her ex-husband Johnny Depp continues their deliberations.
Just shy of the target of 4.5 million signatures, this petition is set to become one of Change.org’s top signed petitions in the worldwide online petition website’s history.
People have been glued to their TV screens watching the highs and lows of the six-week trial, and the jury now has to unravel the evidence in the dueling defamation claims from Depp and Heard. The seven-person civil jury heard closing arguments last week before breaking for the Memorial Day holiday weekend but failed to reach a resolution after seven hours of deliberations once they reconvened in Fairfax County Circuit Court.
A petition to kick Amber Heard off the 'Aquaman 2' sequel is nearing an all-time record high as the jury in her defamation trial continues to deliberate. https://t.co/0MW8zS99MO
— TMZ (@TMZ) June 1, 2022
The Daily Mail reports that Depp is suing Heard for $50 million, accusing her of libeling him with a 2018 op-ed she wrote describing herself as ‘a public figure representing domestic abuse.’ Heard filed a $100 million counterclaim against the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star after his lawyer called her allegations a hoax. Each accuses the other of destroying their career.
The testimony during the six-week trial has been lurid and embarrassing at times. For example, heard testified that Depp physically or sexually assaulted her more than a dozen times, but Depp testified that he never hit Heard and that she made up the allegations to ruin Depp’s reputation and movie career. Depp, in turn, said it was he who was physically attacked and said that Heard’s defecating on their bed was evidence of her unstable mindset. Attorneys for both sides said that a verdict in their favor would give their clients their lives back.
A bit of drama occurred on Tuesday when Depp’s attorneys asked Judge Penney Azcarate to instruct the jury to disregard a portion of the closing argument made by Heard’s attorney:
In their written motion, Depp’s attorneys said Heard’s lawyer told the jury that its decision in the case would send a message to ‘every victim of domestic abuse everywhere.’ Heard attorney Benjamin Rottenborn told the jury that a ruling against Heard ‘sends a message that no matter what you do as an abuse victim, you always have to do more.’
‘No matter how honest you are about your own imperfections and your own shortcomings in a relationship, you have to be perfect in order for people to believe you. Don’t send that message,’ Rottenborn said.
Depp’s attorneys claim that Rottenborn’s argument for focusing on a larger social objective is beyond the purview of the case, and the jury should not consider “domestic abuse everywhere” during their deliberations as it would elicit a subjective response:
‘Such argument by Ms. Heard’s counsel improperly invites the jury to decide the case `based on passion and prejudice,’ and a specific jury instruction is necessary to cure this impropriety,’ Depp’s lawyers argued.
Unfortunately for Depp, the judge told his attorneys in court that because the case is with the jury, she is unable to entertain the motion.
Representatives for Amber Heard did not respond to a request for comment on the judge’s decision or the petition.