James Franco has found himself at the center of the bitter ongoing legal dispute between Johnny Depp and his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
Franco has received a court summons after Depp’s legal team released previously unseen surveillance camera footage from May 2016 of the actor stepping into an elevator along with Heard merely a day after, what she claims, was a fight in which Depp physically assaulted her.
Explaining the decision, Depp’s attorney said ‘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.’
Franco is yet to respond to the court summon, though Heard’s legal team on Tuesday derided the move, noting that she and the actor simply lived in the same apartment complex at the time and that them being in an elevator together didn’t serve as evidence, blasting Depp’s attempts as ‘pathetic.’
How the case began.
Heard moved to court for divorce from Depp two days after their supposed physical altercation took place, which was settled for $7 million in 2017.
Subsequently, the actress penned an opinion piece for the Washington Post on the topic of domestic abuse and sexual violence, which Depp felt indirectly referenced their marriage and seemed to suggest that he had been responsible for committing the aforementioned crimes.
This prompted Depp to sue Heard for defamation and claim damages to the tune of $50 million, saying that he had lost a multitude of financial opportunities, including his high-profile role as Jack Sparrow, as a result of the allegations and that Heard had fabricated them for ‘positive publicity.’