Hollywood star Johnny Depp could be fired from his new film series after his scandalous divorce and allegations of abuse with actress Amber Heard.
Depp, who denies abusing Heard, was slated to star in the next JK Rowling's series, Fantastic Beasts 3, as Gellert Grindelwald — however movie executives are "freaking out" over new court documents involving Heard's accusations of abuse, a source told the Post.
The script for the film has been completed, however filming has been delayed until next year.
"Executives at Warner Bros. are wondering how to deal with the backlash of the Depp matter on the Harry Potter franchise," a source said.
"High-level female execs at the studio are extremely worried about working with Depp and the message it sends to the public, especially after the recent sordid departure of CEO Kevin Tsujihara", who last month announced he was leaving amid a casting couch scandal.
"This is yet another blow to the morale of female employees at the studio," the source said.
"If Warner Bros. continues to stick by Depp, it would reveal a lot about the values the company holds."
The source's statement comes after Heard labelled Depp a "monster" when asking a judge to dismiss a $50 million defamation lawsuit filed by Depp over an article she wrote in the Washington Post in December claiming to be a victim of domestic violence.
In the motion filed in a court in Virginia, Heard describes in extraordinary new detail how Depp repeatedly slapped, shoved, choked and pulled her hair before and during their two-year marriage, the Telegraph UK reports.
Photographs showing Heard with bruises on her face and scars on her arms as well as newly released screenshots of text messages describing the incidents were produced as exhibits.
Depp has denied any such abuse. The couple married in February 2015 and divorced in January 2017.
Heard claimed Depp began abusing drugs and alcohol about a year into their relationship after they began dating in 2012, which led him to become a "totally different person".
"We called that version of Johnny, 'the Monster' ", the documents state.
She added Depp taunted her by shouting "James Franco" towards her and screamed obscenities in the jet's toilet until he passed out.
In March 2015, a month into their marriage, Heard alleged Depp physically abused her as he embarked on a three-day ecstasy binge in Australia.
Heard said during an argument over his drug taking, Depp slapped her and shoved her to the ground before she locked herself in a bedroom.
The next morning, she claimed she found Depp drinking after he stayed up all night and took about eight MDMA pills.
Heard claimed her ex-husband choked her, spat in her face, threw unopened glass bottles at her and pushed her into a ping-pong table.
The 32-year-old said Depp also tore off her nightgown leaving her "naked and barefoot, covered in alcohol and glass".
Heard admitted she punched Depp for "the only time" in the same month over fears the Pirates of the Caribbean actor would push her younger sister Whitney down the stairs at his home in Los Angeles.
According to the court motion, in December 2015, Depp allegedly "pulled large chunks of hair and scalp" from Heard's head during an argument at their apartment.
The documents state: "Johnny picked another fight with me. He threw another decanter at me, knocked items around the room, and punched the wall.
"He slapped me hard, grabbed me by my hair, and dragged me from a stairwell to the office to the living room to the kitchen to the bedroom and then to the guest room."
Heard's attorney Eric George said: "Johnny Depp physically and verbally abused Amber Heard."
He went on to claim: "Since their divorce, Mr Depp has continued to publicly harass Ms Heard, and attempted to gaslight the world by denying his abuse.
"It is long past time for Mr Depp's despicable conduct to end."
Depp's attorney, Adam Waldman, said the new documents were being reviewed. He previously said his client looked forward to providing evidence that would clear his name.
The lawsuit alleges Depp suffered financial losses, including being stood down from his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, because of accusations published in the Washington Post in which Heard said she was a domestic violence victim.
The piece did not mention Depp by name or describe any incidents, but discussed the plight of those who speak out against abuse.
But Depp's lawsuit says it was clear Heard was talking about him, and that it worsened the damage the allegations had already done to his career.
If you're in danger now:
• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people.
• Scream for help so your neighbours can hear you.
• Take the children with you.
• Don't stop to get anything else.
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay.
Where to go for help or more information:
• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shine, free national helpline 9am-11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• Ministry of Justice: www.justice.govt.nz/family-justice/domestic-violence
• National Network of Stopping Violence: www.nnsvs.org.nz
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent. www.whiteribbon.org.nz
How to hide your visit
If you are reading this information on the Herald website and you're worried that someone using the same computer will find out what you've been looking at, you can follow the steps at the link here to hide your visit. Each of the websites above also have a section that outlines this process.
- NZ Herald, Telegraph UK