Actress Amber Heard has been accused of lifting her former assistant’s sexual violence experience and making it her own in her legal battle against ex-husband Johnny Depp.
Kate James appeared in London’s High Court via a video link from Los Angeles on Wednesday (July 15, 2020), and claimed she was stunned after discovering details of Heard’s alleged clashes with Depp mirrored aspects of her own past, which she had once shared with her old boss.
“Much to my utter shock and dismay, I discovered that Ms. Heard had in fact stolen my sexual violence conversation with her and twisted it into her own story to benefit herself,” she said, according to Britain’s Sky News.
“This of course caused me extreme distress and outrage that she would dare to attempt to use the most harrowing experience of my life as her own narrative.”
It was unclear which of the incidents between the actors James was referring to, but the Aquaman star has accused her ex of violent behavior on at least 14 occasions, which have been explored in court as part of Depp’s libel trial against bosses at News Group Newspapers, over a story published in The Sun in 2018, when he was branded a “wife beater”.
Depp, 57, has denied the allegations.
Meanwhile, James told the court the three years she spent working for Heard, until she was fired in 2015, were not the most pleasant, as the 34-year-old would frequently drink “vast quantities of wine” and then bombard her with “incoherent and abusive texts between 2am and 4am on a daily basis”.
Heard also carried on as if she was “above the law”, with James testifying about the star’s legal trouble with Australian immigration officials in 2015, after smuggling her two pet dogs into the country – even though she was allegedly aware of a paperwork issue.
James explained Heard “chose to ignore” warnings from both her assistant and Depp’s then-estate manager, Kevin Murphy: “She deliberately smuggled the dogs into Australia… As in several circumstances which I observed, it was as if she felt that she was above the law.”
And she backed up evidence given by Murphy earlier in the day about Heard wanting James to lie to authorities by signing a statement declaring that the star “did not know the dogs were not ready to be taken into Australia”.
“The fact that she was willing to ask me to sign such a statement under oath… is a reflection of her approach to me… in general,” James added. “She did not care about throwing anyone under the bus, if it meant saving her own skin.”
Depp has vehemently denied the domestic violence allegations made by Heard, insisting she was the one abusing him.
The trial continues, with Depp’s exes, Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis, due to testify on his behalf.