Johnny Depp's team grills Amber Heard over footage of James Franco visit during defamation trial

·3 min read
Johnny Depp's team grills Amber Heard over footage of James Franco visit during defamation trial

During a heated cross-examination, Johnny Depp's legal team grilled Amber Heard about a late-night visit from James Franco after she filed a restraining order against Depp in 2016.

Heard returned to the witness stand for a fourth day in Fairfax County, Va., on Tuesday, and Depp's attorney, Camille Vasquez, seemed to suggest a possible romantic relationship between Heard and Franco, who starred together in 2008's Pineapple Express and 2015's The Adderall Diaries.

Vasquez played surveillance elevator footage of Franco arriving at Heard's penthouse: "You changed the lock to the penthouses on May 22, 2016," Vasquez posited. "I attempted to," Heard replied, referring to previous testimony about changing the locks after a fight with Depp.

Vasquez asked, "That's why you felt comfortable having James Franco over the evening of May 22, 2016?" When Heard testified that she does not recall when specifically her former costar visited, Vasquez presented footage dated May 21, 2016, "past 11 p.m. at night" when she "knew Mr. Depp was out of town."

"I don't know what I knew of his schedule at the time," Heard said.

Later, during redirect examination by her lawyer, Heard maintained she and Franco were just friends and neighbors.

Heard previously testified that Depp suspected the two of having an affair. "He hated, hated James Franco," Heard told the court last week. "He was accusing me of secretly having a thing with him in the past since we had done Pineapple Express together."

Franco and Elon Musk, who Heard briefly dated in 2017 — are included on her witness list, but neither is expected to testify. However, actress Ellen Barkin and Heard's sister are expected to take the stand on her behalf this week.

Amber Heard, James Franco
Amber Heard, James Franco

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images; Kevin Winter/Getty Images Amber Heard behind the stand in Johnny Depp defamation trial; actor James Franco

Earlier in the trial, Heard testified that she was subjected to a "revolving door of accusations" of infidelity from Depp, alleging that the actor tried to prevent her from taking jobs in Hollywood out of jealousy. While on the stand last month, Depp confirmed he was suspicious that Heard might be having affairs. He also testified that "occasionally, yes, it did" make him feel insecure when Heard was out with others.

"I become irrational when you're doing movies," Depp can be heard telling his ex-wife in one audio clip shared in court. "I become jealous and f---ing weird and we fight a lot more."

Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed she penned chronicling her experiences as a domestic violence survivor. Though Heard never mentioned Depp by name in the piece, his lawyers argue that references to their client (and Heard's previous abuse allegations following their 2017 divorce) are clear, and that they damaged Depp's career and reputation. Heard has filed a $100 million countersuit, alleging Depp and his legal team defamed her by calling her allegations false.

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