Lawyers for Johnny Depp are reportedly planning to subpoena actor James Franco in an effort to build their case against Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard, against whom Depp filed a $50 million lawsuit earlier this year.
Depp’s legal team is interested in having Franco questioned after surveillance camera footage surfaced that appears to show the 41-year-old actor riding in an elevator with Heard the day after Depp is alleged to have physically abused her and bruised her face, The Blast reports.
Heard first rode by herself down to the floor where parking is located, where Franco entered, and the two then rode back up together to the penthouse floor where the apartment that Heard shared at the time with Depp was, according to the outlet. The two largely kept their faces hidden from the camera during the ride.
Depp’s team is interested in having Franco, as well as tech billionaire Elon Musk, questioned because both men were linked to Heard at around the time Heard claimed to have been abused by her then-husband.
Depp's attorney, Adam Waldman, said they want to subpoena Franco in order to find out what Heard may have said to him about the alleged abuse, according to the outlet.
“We are interested in James Franco and Elon Musk as fact witnesses because we have evidence they are men who saw Amber Heard's face in the days and nights between when she claimed Mr. Depp smashed her in the face on May 21 and when she went to court with painted on ‘bruises’ to obtain a temporary restraining order on May 27,” Waldman said.
Depp filed a suit against his former partner in March, claiming that she defamed him in an op-ed she penned for the Washington Post, where she wrote about her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse but did not mention her ex-husband by name. Heard again detailed the alleged abuse she suffered at Depp’s hands and called him a “monster,” in her response to the suit in April.
Depp, who has steadfastly denied having ever abused Heard, claimed the following month that his ex “painted on” the bruises seen in the graphic photos that led to a temporary restraining order against him.
Heard’s lawyer responded to news that Franco would be subpoenaed in a brief statement obtained by Fox News, calling the move “pathetic.”
“This bogus story is just another lame attempt by Johnny Depp and his team to spread deliberately misleading information through the tabloid media so that he can continue to attack and abuse his ex-wife,” attorney Eric George said. “Amber Heard and James Franco once lived in the same apartment complex and were simply taking an elevator at the same time. Period. Johnny Depp and his team have been trying — and failing — to place a salacious story based on this irrelevant footage for weeks. It’s pathetic.”
Representation for Franco and Depp did not respond to Fox News' request for comment.
However, Depp’s lawyer claimed to The Blast that Franco did not live in the same building as Heard and Depp.
“Lies beget lies,” his statement reads, in part. “Ms. Heard’s absurd pre-textual excuse for Mr. Franco’s presence in the elevator to Mr. Depp’s penthouse floor is that it was a chance encounter because James Franco ‘lived in the building.’ That is a lie. Mr. Franco didn't and doesn't live in the building. Nor does he live in the hallway of Mr. Depp’s private penthouse floor to which elevator 3 goes.”
Depp’s attorney said in April that they also plan to subpoena Musk, Page Six reports. Depp’s team previously accused Heard of having an affair with Musk while she was still in a relationship with Depp and claimed that the two were together around the same time that she alleged that Depp assaulted her.
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