'Sex-Addicted' James Franco Reportedly to Be Deposed Over Depp's Defamation Suit Against Amber Heard
08:54 GMT 25.12.2021 (Updated: 08:55 GMT 25.12.2021)
Hollywood actor Johnny Depp has been waging a $50 million libel suit against "Aquaman" actress and former wife Amber heard, hoping to prove she doctored photos purporting to show her with two black eyes, which she says she suffered in 2015 at the hands of the star.
, who has been feeling the heat since admitting that he slept with his students, has now been served in Johnny Depp's $50 million defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard, Page Six
Lawyers for the Hollywood superstar want Franco to be questioned about whether he had an affair with Heard while she was still married to Depp. Furthermore, he is reportedly to be asked if he saw the alleged bruises to Heard's face attributed to her then-husband.
Depp is suing Heard in Virginia over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed she penned where she described herself as a victim of domestic violence at the hands of an abuser whose name she did not mention.
The "Pirates of the Caribbean" star, who denies any abuse, claimed it was clear that his ex-wife was referring to him in the article. The actor, according to previous reports, insisted the "sociopathic" actress was, quite the opposite, violent towards him and used their relationship to boost her career.
Depp also sued the publishers of The Sun in a related libel suit in England, over a 2018 article that called him a "wife beater". He lost the suit after the UK High Court of Justice ruled in 2020 that the majority of Heard's allegations had been proven to a civil standard.
'Creep and Rapist'
Johnny Depp reportedly sent the subpoena to James Franco after a surveillance video dated May 2016 showed him entering an elevator with Heard 24 hours after the now-infamous alleged fight during which Depp purportedly gave her a black eye. On the penthouse floor of the apartment where Depp and Heard used to reside, both Franco and the "Aquaman" actress are seen leaving the elevator together.
According to Depp's legal team, Franco is to be questioned as a "witness" regarding any possible details of the "fight". They also hope to find out whether Franco saw any injuries to Heard's face. Johnny Depp has long maintained that his ex-wife had doctored photos of herself with two black eyes.
In response, Amber Heard's legal team is said to have claimed that James Franco simply lived in the same building around the time of the incident. Depp's attorneys reportedly dismissed the argument as "a lie".
James Franco had faced fresh allegations of being sexually inappropriate with Amber Heard, when her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, testified in his libel suit against The Sun in July 2020. At the time, Depp said that Heard had called Franco "rapey", and said she was forced to run away from his sexual advances when they worked together on the 2008 comedy "The Pineapple Express".
"She told me many things that were very, very negative about Mr Franco, that he had tried to kiss her and made sexual advances towards her on the previous film they had made together… She said he was a creep and a rapist. She said he was quite aggressive in his advances towards her", Depp had testified at the time.
Franco has denied being romantically involved with Heard while she was with Depp, according to the outlet.
James Franco will ostensibly sit for the deposition early next year, as a trial date has been set for 11 April 2022 in Fairfax County, Virginia. The court proceedings are anticipated to last 12 days.
"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", Depp stated in his suit against his ex-wife.
The lawsuit filed by Depp was his attempt to not only clear his name and mend the damage done to his reputation, but 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".
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard married in February 2015 after meeting on the set of the 2011 film "The Rum Diary". However, Heard filed for divorce in May 2016. The breakup was finalised in 2017.
23 December 2021, 14:48 GMT
This comes as actor James Franco recently spoke out
in connection with the sexual misconduct allegations made against him several years ago. Appearing on the Jess Cagle podcast, the Oscar nominee admitted that he slept with some of the students at his now-defunct acting school, which he said was "wrong". In 2018, five women accused Franco of sexually inappropriate behaviour, and a year later, two students from Franco's school accused him of exploiting his female students by subjecting them to sexually exploitative auditions. The actor has dismissed all the accusations.