Who is Kate James? Amber Heard's ex-assistant accuses actress of verbally abusing her, claims Johnny Depp was a 'gentleman'

Kate James said Amber Heard was a "verbally abusive" boss during her defamation trial testimony (Image via Law&Crime Network/YouTube and Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images)
Kate James said Amber Heard was a "verbally abusive" boss during her defamation trial testimony (Image via Law&Crime Network/YouTube and Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images)

Amber Heard's former personal assistant Kate James recently appeared to testify in Heard's ongoing defamation trial against her ex-husband Johnny Depp. James gave her testimony through a pre-taped video and accused Heard of being verbally abusive towards her during her time as her boss.

She also talked about Depp and Heard’s relationship and mentioned that the Pirates of the Caribbean star has always been a “gentleman.” James also testified that she never saw any visible scars, bruises or signs of abuse on Heard’s face in the past.

Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard's defamation trial began after the former filed a $50 million lawsuit against his ex-wife, accusing her of libel for calling her a “domestic violence” survivor in a 2018 Washington Times op-ed.

Although Depp was not directly named in the article, his lawyers argued that the story indicated towards him being an alleged abuser and had a negative impact on his career. Heard countersued Depp for $100 million, claiming he had assaulted her at least 10 times under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Everything to know about Amber Heard's former assistant, Kate James

Kate James was known for working as Amber Heard’s assistant between 2012 and 2015. She reportedly came with nearly 10 years of experience working with A-list celebrities but started working for Heard as a part-time employee to have a flexible schedule to care for her son.

The assistant went on to become Heard’s full-time employee and had several duties, from grocery shopping for the actress, picking up her dry cleaning to talking with her Hollywood agents and seeing her overall workflow.

James was also tasked with collecting two copies of any magazine that featured Amber Heard and storing them in the garage. Unfortunately, the assistant was abruptly terminated from her position in 2015, shortly after Heard tied the knot with Depp.

More recently, James said that Heard told her that her “mother was sick” and she could not invest in employment fees and had to fire James to take care of her mother. The employee shared that she was shocked and “blindsided” by the decision at the time.

What did Kate James say about Amber Heard?

Amber Heard has been accused of being a "verbally abusive" boss by her former assistant Kate James (Image via Shawn Thew/Getty Images)
Amber Heard has been accused of being a "verbally abusive" boss by her former assistant Kate James (Image via Shawn Thew/Getty Images)

On Thursday, Kate James appeared at the Virginia Fairfax Court via a pre-taped video as one of the witnesses in Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s defamation trial. During her testimony, James revealed that she served as Heard’s assistant between 2012 and 2015 and accused the actress of being abusive.

James mentioned that Heard hired her as a part-time employee for $25 per hour, which was half her usual rate, despite coming to the role with 10 years of experience. She alleged that the job became a full-time position six months later but Heard refused to negotiate James’ salary to $50000 a year.


The former assistant also alleged that Heard spat in her face during the negotiation and that a handyman who witnessed the incident was left “mortified and embarrassed” with Heard’s actions:

“She leapt up out of her chair, put her face four inches from my face, spitting in my face, telling me how dare I ask the salary I was asking for. She felt that gave her the right to spit in my face.”

James shared that one time Heard went into a “blind rage” after she found some magazines lying around her house, which the former was supposed to store in the garage:

“She went absolutely ballistic. Screaming, yelling, abuse. (It was a) blind rage.”

The employee also recalled that Heard would often “scream over the phone” and subject her to “barrages of abusive text messages day and night”:

“The middle of the night I think, between 2 and 4 am the barrage would start. All incoherent, not making sense, just someone to lash out at. No apparent reason to it.”

Kate James also claimed that Amber Heard abused her own family, treated her sister like “a dog you kick,” and left her own mother “terrified” with her behavior. She further stated that the actress took the Provigil sleeping aid and that the side effects of the medicine sent her into having a “manic episode”:

“It was similar to if someone was on some sort of amphetamine drug. Moving very fast, hyper organizing, hyper tasking, just very, very hyper.”

James also alleged that Heard had told her that she had taken “mushrooms, ecstasy and cocaine” and said that the Aquaman star became “more and more belligerent and abusive” when she was intoxicated.

Speaking on Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s problems, James mentioned that the latter often cried and complained about the “insecurities” in their relationship. She remembered that Heard once called her in a “very dysregulated state” while roaming around the streets of New York around 2012 or 2013.

“I don't recall when it started. Usually her complaining and crying due to insecurities within the relationship. She would be very, very insecure a lot of the time and call me up crying.”

James also said that Heard never told her anything about Depp being physically abusive towards her. She further testified that she never saw Heard with any injuries, cuts, bruises, swelling or redness of face, black eyes or clumps of hair torn out of her head.

The former assistant also mentioned that Amber Heard did not like the crowd that Depp hung out with:

“She told me she didn't like hanging out in his house with his friends because it was boring and they were all old men playing guitars and it wasn't interesting to her.”

James also shared her statement about a day in May 2014 when Heard flew to Los Angeles from Boston. The latter has alleged that Depp was “supposedly abusive and drunk towards her” during the flight.

However, James expressed her doubts about Amber Heard’s story and claimed that the actress went to the Chateau Marmont Hotel to spend time with friends instead of returning home following her arrival in LA.

Contrary to her statements about Heard, Kate James noted that Johnny Depp was always a “total Southern gentleman,” and he was always “peaceful, almost shy, very quiet.” She said that the actor never lost his calm and remained “completely passive” most of the time.

James also shared that Depp even gave her then 4-year-old son guitar lessons, brought him gifts from their vacations and even played with him in his “elaborate prosthetic makeup” for his 2015 film Black Mass.

Following James’ testimony, Amber Heard’s lawyers attempted to portray her as a disappointed former employee who was laid off without proper notice. The attorneys also made James admit that she asked to be placed under Depp after getting fired due to her financial constraints.

Amber Heard’s lawyers reportedly said that the actress was preparing to testify in the trial herself and was looking forward to opening up about the “real Johnny Depp.”

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Edited by R. Elahi
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