Christian Carino was also asked about orchestrating a secret meeting between the two after Heard's restraining order -- and how she was just "filling space" with Musk after splitting from Depp.
The defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard went into Day 10 on Wednesday in Virginia, where testimony from Christian Carino, a talent agent who used to represent both actors, was shown to the court.
Speaking with Heard's lawyers in a pre-taped deposition from January 2021, Carino said he believed having any of his clients in any kind of "litigation publicly" would have a negative impact on their careers.
That argument is at the center of this case, as Depp is seeking $50 million in damages after Heard claimed she was a survivor of domestic abuse in an op-ed in the Washington Post in 2018. While she didn't name Depp in the piece, his lawyers have argued it was implied to be about him and negatively affected his career. She countersued Depp for $100 million.
"People don't want to hear that the people they look up to are in litigation," Carino explained. "And the more oxygen it takes up in the overall news or coverage of an individual and the less focused it is on that person's career, the less interested studios, brands, the general public becomes in that person."
Carino -- who was once engaged to Lady Gaga -- said he believes Depp was and still is "one of the finest actors of his generation," when it comes to the quality of his acting abilities. On the personal side, however, Carino said he believed that while Depp was known for having a "shroud of mystery" around him when they started working together in 2016, that changed overtime.
"It changed with the exposure that came with the lawsuits," he said, adding that "shroud of mystery" has since disappeared likely as a result of litigation and publicity. "My opinion is that Amber's accusations would have had the most dramatic impact on his off-screen reputation," said Carino, adding that he wasn't referring to any specific accusation. "I mean the things she's accused of Johnny of doing, that have been made public," he carefully clarified.
While Carino said he didn't believe a divorce filing in general would necessarily have an impact on Depp's career, he said Heard filing a restraining order "based on accusations of abuse" would have a negative affect on his reputation.
Carino said there was no way to truly quantify how much Depp's reputation was impacted by Heard's Washington Post op-ed specifically, but believed Johnny lost "Pirates of the Caribbean 6" due to "the accusations that Amber has made" regarding domestic abuse and violence. He added that his opinion was based on conversations with colleagues and studio executives. When asked about those conversations, he mentioned both Jerry Bruckheimer and CAA's Bryan Lourd.
He said he didn't recall the specifics of the conversations, but said "the nature of it was the studio was having difficulty employing" Depp and it was "understood" why. "Everyone was aware of what was garnering the attention of the studios and determining whether or not he could be employed," added Carino, who noted Bruckheimer never flat out said Heard's allegations were to blame.
Carino was also asked whether there were any "problems" on set with Depp while filming the fifth "Pirates" movie, including alcohol and drug use or tardiness. "I'm aware of him being tardy but he's been tardy on everything his entire life," he responded, "I think it's troublesome to everybody but everyone has learned to produce a film, to deal with it."
He added he didn't know of anyone who was "irritated" with Depp's behavior and, when it came to "artistic differences" Johnny had with Disney, Carino said "there was a difference of opinion on how the film was edited." The agent said he and others have still tried to get Depp work at Disney.
After a break, Carino's deposition with Depp's team -- which was recorded in March 2022 -- was then played for the court. He explained that he first met Heard, working with her to find brand partnerships, and considered her a "friend." He added that he became friendly with Depp and represented him as well at the same time. He stopped working with Depp when the actor left CAA and their friendship ended around the same time. As for Heard, he said that friendship ended "when the legal disputes started" -- but had no "animosity" toward either party.
Carino also said he was the one who first introduced both Heard and Depp to Dr. Lauren Anderson, who was a witness for Depp earlier this month. He said the two needed "help" to "mediate the difficulties they were having" and "the strains on their relationship." He also said he never witnessed Depp abusing Heard and she never mentioned abuse allegations with him, or vice versa. He also never witnessed any injuries on Heard.
Carino was then asked about orchestrating a meeting between Depp and Heard in San Francisco in August 2016, two months after she filed for divorce and obtained a restraining order. "He was reluctant at first and then agreed," said Carino, who added Depp was concerned about the TRO "because nobody wanted Johnny accused of violating" it. She agreed she wouldn't accuse Depp of violating the restraining order and the meeting was set up.
He said the meeting lasted "several hours" at one of his friend's homes, outside, sitting "inches away from each other." The meeting was then moved to a nearby hotel room, where the two "started arguing." He didn't recall specifics of the fight.
Carino was then asked about a text exchange from a year later, in August 2017, and Heard's relationship with Elon Musk. "Dealing with breakup, I hate when things go public, I'm so sad," wrote Heard, about her split from Musk. He replied, "It seems like a press release, you weren't in love with him, you told me a thousand times you were just filling space" -- before adding, "You could avoid all this if you stopped dating uber-famous people. You can be with a big man who isn't famous."
When asked whether he knew if Amber was already dating Musk at the time of the 2016 San Francisco meeting, Carino said he wasn't sure, "but they had definitely spent time together." Carino also testified that he believed Heard was trying to "Reconcile" with Depp following her split from Musk -- and she even texted him in June 2018, "God, I miss him."