Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s longstanding legal battle took a new turn as actor James Franco was recently served legal documents by the former's lawyers in relation to the case.
Franco has been asked to testify on Depp’s $50 million defamation case against his ex-wife, Amber Heard. The Eat, Pray, Love actor is set to be questioned in court about his alleged extra-marital affair with Heard while she was married to Depp.
James Franco spotted with Amber Heard, subpoenaed by Johnny Depp's lawyers
According to Page Six, a May 2016 surveillance video showed Franco entering an elevator with Heard nearly 24 hours after the latter’s alleged violent fight with the Pirates of the Caribbean actor.
As per reports, Heard claimed that Depp gave her a black eye during the fight. James Franco has now been summoned to court to clarify whether he noticed bruises on Amber Heard’s face during their past meeting.
Amber Heard’s legal team mentioned that James Franco lived in the same apartment Depp and Heard shared around the time of their fight. They mentioned that Franco and Heard only took the elevator together by co-incidence.
However, Johnny Depp’s lawyers refuted the claims and sent a subpoena to the Spider-Man alum. The former first claimed that Franco had an affair with his wife in 2015 during filming of The Adderall Diaries.
The latest legal drama comes just a few days after James Franco addressed old assault allegations made against him in the past and confessed about having physical relationships with students at his Studio 4 acting school.
Why did Johnny Depp file a lawsuit against Amber Heard?
Johnny Depp sued his former wife Amber Heard for $50 million in a Virginia court over a 2018 op-ed published in the Washington Post, where the latter described herself as a victim of domestic abuse. He claimed the accusations tarnished his name and caused him to lose his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow.
Although the article did not directly mention the Edward Scissorhands actor’s name, it hinted towards the possibility of him being the alleged abuser. At the time, Heard wrote that she had become a public figure for speaking out against domestic abuse:
“I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture's wrath for women who speak out.”
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp married in 2015 but parted ways in 2016 when the former issued a temporary restraining order against the actor, alleging he had been abusive towards her throughout the relationship. The Charlie and the Chocolate factory star denied all the allegations made against him:
“I have denied Ms. Heard’s allegations vehemently since she first made them in May 2016 … when she walked into court to obtain a temporary restraining order with painted-on bruises that witnesses and surveillance footage show she did not possess each day of the preceding week. I will continue to deny them for the rest of my life. I never abused Ms. Heard or any other woman.”
Johnny Depp also claimed that contrary to the allegations, he had been abused by his former wife. He also filed a lawsuit against Amber Heard to “bring clarity” to real victims of abuse:
“Not only to clear my name and restore my reputation, but to attempt to bring clarity to the women and men whose lives have been harmed by abuse and who have been repeatedly lied to by Ms. Heard purporting to be their spokesperson.”
More recently, Depp’s team served legal documents to actor James Franco to testify in court over his alleged affair with Heard in the past. The next trial is expected to begin on April 11, 2022, in Fairfax County, Virginia and is likely to continue for 12 days.