Johnny Depp and Amber Heard‘s defamation trial is almost over.
It all began with Heard accusing her ex-husband of abuse—something he quickly denied and has continued to do since then. The former Pirates of the Caribbean star followed up those claims with his own lawsuit against Heard, where he aims to receive damages for her libel while also claiming an attempt to set the record straight.
In recent days, Spider-Man: No Way Home star Zendaya has become a focus when discussing Heard’s public reputation and career trajectory in comparison to other actors in superhero blockbusters.
Heard’s team claimed an estimated loss of $50 million in damages due to Johnny Depp’s allegations negatively affecting Amber Heard’s future career opportunities in Hollywood.
The explanation for those losses was summarized by Entertainment Industry Consultant Kathryn Arnold, who compared Heard’s celebrity status and demand to be similar to an actress like Spider-Man: No Way Homestar Zendaya.
Depp’s lawyer refuted those claims, trying to make the case that the comparison between the two is not an accurate one.
In trying to frame the comparison as illogical, the lawyer said the following to Arnold on the stand:
“You indicated that another person that you compared Ms. Heard with is Zendaya, a person so famous she goes by one name. She’s been on the Disney channel since 13 years old, she’s won an Emmy, she was singing and dancing and swinging from trapezes in The Greatest Showman. She’s now been in multiple Spider-Man movies, she’s 10 years younger than your clients, but this is a person you deem comparable.”
In response, Arnold made it clear how “[she] said that they were comparable [and not] identical,” claiming that Zendaya was only being used as a “reference point:”
I was explaining to you how I chose them, when you look at superhero characters, there’s not that many to pull from, so I just tried to work on pulling characters that were in superhero movies that were about the same age range within 10 years, as you noted to me thank you, and also just where her career would have gone. I said that they were comparable, that they are not identical, so you can just look at what their career has done, either before that superhero movie, then in others, or in the one that they were in, and then you look at where her career should have gone even though she may not have been at the stature of a Zendaya at that time. You can still look at it as a comparable trajectory at what happens when you’re in a blockbuster movie. It’s just a reference point; it’s not meant to be identical, they are not meant to be the same people, they do not even have the exact same career. It’s meant to be a reference point, simple as that.”
Depp’s legal team presented a Q score chart to help drive their point across. The graph aims to show “how well a celebrity… [is] liked, and how much they are disliked”.
Looking at the graph, which showed “Winter 2019 Q scores [Aquaman but before the lawsuits],” it becomes clear that Heard’s popularity ranks much lower than the likes of Zendaya, Gal Gadot, and other comparable actors.
In comparison to her Aquaman co-star, Heard ranks three times lower than Jason Momoa in Positive Q Scores and close to three times higher than the Arthur Curry actor in Negative Q Scores.