Actress Amber Heard has suffered plenty of bad publicity over the last couple of weeks as her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, is suing her for defamation.
Heard hoped her latest move could help that problem, but it appears to be backfiring spectacularly.
According to Fox News, Heard ditched her entire PR team ahead of her testimony in the case in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia. The actress terminated her contract with Precision Strategies, the company that had been in charge of her public relations.
The report said she hired Shane Communications to take over her PR duties.
“She doesn’t like bad headlines,” an unidentified source told the outlet. Another source explained Heard was “frustrated with her story not being told effectively.”
The trial has been televised and streamed live online, so the public has been able to hear the same evidence that the jury has heard. Up to this point, that evidence has not looked promising for Heard.
In one of the most damming moments of the trial, audio was played of a verbal altercation between Depp and Heard. In the recording, Depp recalled instances in which he “lost a f***ing finger” and had “a can of mineral spirits thrown at my nose.”
“You can please tell people that it was a fair fight and see what the jury and judge think,” Heard said in the audio recording. “Tell the world, Johnny. Tell them Johnny Depp … I, Johnny Depp, man, I am a victim too, of domestic violence .. .and see how many people believe or side with you.”
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers may find offensive.
The clear implication from Heard was that because Depp was the man, the public would not side with him if he said he was abused. While this was not an explicit admission of guilt from Heard, it certainly painted her in a bad light.
The headlines that came after that audio was played were not positive ones for Heard, and rightfully so. Even the best PR team in the world would have a hard time spinning Heard’s words to reflect well on her.
Following the announcement that Heard was ditching Precision Strategies and hiring Shane Communications, many Twitter users said Heard should not have blamed her PR team because her own actions inevitably brought negative coverage.
“Amber Heard fired her entire PR team because of bad press,” one user wrote. “This lady needs a magician, not a PR firm.”
Amber Heard fired her entire PR team because of bad press. This lady needs a magician, not a PR firm.
— Hoodlum 🇺🇸 (@NotHoodlum) May 2, 2022
Another user said Heard looked guilty because “the truth is coming out,” but instead of taking responsibility for her actions, she was “blaming her PR team.”
Amber Heard is nervous because she never wanted cameras in the courts to begin with. Now the truth is coming out and she can’t lie & manipulate the narrative so she’s blaming her PR team 🤦🏼♀️#JusticeForJohnnyDepp#JohnnyDeppAmberHeardTrial
— Jenna Hansen (@jjenners11) May 2, 2022
Speaking to Fox News, a brand and crisis management expert said it is not unusual for headlines from a public trial to reflect poorly on the defendant after the accuser takes the stand.
However, the expert said the headlines tend to shift toward a more positive portrayal of the defendant once his or her team presents its case. For that reason, the expert said, Heard ditching her PR team was premature.
“You’ve either got to have exceptionally thin skin or not understand how the media works to think anyone could spin their way to positive headlines with these kinds of attacks happening not just in the courtroom, but on national TV, for the last several weeks,” the expert said, according to Fox News.
“It’s certainly possible things could move more in her favor once the defense starts presenting its case, but it feels like an unforced error to switch PR teams right before that begins.”
It remains to be seen whether this move will benefit Heard in the long run, but in the immediate term, it might be causing more harm than good.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.