Axed. Amber Heard fired her PR team just days before delivering her testimony as part of an ongoing defamation trial with her ex-husband, Johnny Depp. According to the New York Post, the Aquaman actress gave crisis public relations firm Precision Strategies the sack after a barrage of “bad headlines” about her in the press.
Depp, 58, is suing his ex-wife for $50 million after the publication of a 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post, in which she wrote about being a victim of domestic violence. While the article did not refer to Depp by name, the timeline of the piece widely suggested that he was its subject. Since the article’s publication, Depp has vehemently denied ever physically abusing Heard and insists that the contents of her essay were defamatory and untrue.
Since going to trial in April 2022, the court of public opinion has largely favored Depp, with many on social media rallying behind the Pirates of the Caribbean actor. Now, the tide has turned to a point where Heard is reportedly “frustrated with her story not being told effectively,” according to a source who spoke to the New York Post. “She doesn’t like bad headlines,” a second source noted.
According to the Post’s report, Heard fired Precision Strategies—a public relations firm co-founded by former Obama deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter—for Hollywood consulting firm Shane Communications. Though the firm is led by PR veteran David Shane, insiders told the Post that it will be difficult for Heard to shift the negative narrative that has already been established for her.
“After years of narrative building, you can’t change the public’s opinion in the three weeks when someone is suing you in a case,” a crisis management source told the publication.
Lis Smith, the senior communications director for former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, also believes it’s an uphill battle from here. “It’s crazy to change teams in the middle of a trial like this because you don’t like the headlines,” Smith told the Post, noting that Heard’s former PR firm is “one of the best crisis firms.” But even they “can’t rewrite the history of what’s happened.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, help is available. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) for confidential support.