Johnny Depp was dropped from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise because of the domestic abuse allegations made by Amber Heard, his former Hollywood agent said on Wednesday, backing up the actor's claim against his ex-wife.
"My opinion is that it was related to the accusations that Amber has made," Christian Carino, who works for Creative Arts Agency, said in a videotaped deposition in the defamation suit filed by Depp against Heard.
Depp filed a defamation case against Heard over a column she wrote for The Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse".
Heard, 36, never named Depp, 58, but he sued her for implying he was a domestic abuser and is seeking $50 million in damages.
Texas-born Heard countersued, asking for $100m, claiming she suffered "rampant physical violence and abuse" at his hands.
Depp filed the defamation complaint in the US after losing a separate libel case in London in November 2020 that he brought against The Sun for calling him a "wife-beater".
Carino, Depp and Heard's former agent, said it was never explicitly stated by Disney that Depp was being dropped from the Pirates franchise because of the domestic abuse accusations but it was "understood".
Depp, testifying earlier on his own behalf, blamed the accusations by Heard for the loss of his lucrative role in Pirates as Captain Jack Sparrow.
Carino, the former fiance of Lady Gaga, was also asked about Heard's relationship with billionaire Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, which followed her 2017 divorce from Depp.
Lawyers for Depp read out August 2017 text messages between Carino and Heard, who starred in the movie Aquaman.
"Dealing with break-up. I hate when things go public. See, I'm so sad," Heard said in a message about the end of her relationship with Musk.
"You weren't in love with him and you told me 1,000 times you were just filling space," Carino replied. "Why would you be sad if you weren't in love with him to begin with?"
Heard responded: "I know but I wanted time to grieve and recover in my own time."
Asked by a lawyer for Depp if Heard was referring to Musk or Depp, Carino said "I don't know."
He also provided her with some advice. "You could avoid all this if you stopped dating uber-famous people," he said. "You can be with a big man who isn't famous."
Testifying last week, Depp said the allegations that he was a "drunken, cocaine-fuelled menace who beat women" have cost him "everything".
Depp denies ever physically abusing Heard and claims she was the one who was frequently violent.
Depp, a three-time Oscar nominee, and Heard met in 2009 on the set of the film The Rum Diary and were married in February 2015. Their divorce was finalised two years later.