James Franco summoned in Johnny Depp's defamation case against Amber Heard

Ben Arnold
Contributor
James Franco and Amber Heard (Credit: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

James Franco has been subpoenaed by Johnny Depp's lawyers, who want to him to appear in court in his defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard.

In new CCTV footage obtained by Depp's legal team, and published by The Blast, Franco is seen leaving the apartment Depp and Heard shared in Los Angeles with the actress just a day after she claimed that she was assaulted by her husband.

The video shows Heard and Franco appearing to avoid looking at the cameras, and exiting on the same floor, Depp and Heard's penthouse flat.

They are asking that Franco appear during the trial, set for February 2020, and testify under oath.

Read more: Johnny Depp’s defamation case is going to court

“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 [in 2016] and when she went to court with painted on ‘bruises’ to obtain a temporary restraining order on May 27,” told The Blast.

Depp has previously accused faking bruises on her face, after she accused Depp of domestic abuse.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp (Credit: KGC-42/STAR MAX/IPx)

The Pirates of the Caribbean star is suing Heard for defamation, after she wrote an op-ed piece for the Washington Post in which she described herself as 'a public figure representing domestic abuse'.

Heard’s lawyers told Fox News that Heard and Franco lived in the same apartment building at the time the footage was captured, and were simply using the elevator at the same time.

“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,” said attorney Eric George.

“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.”

Read more: Depp accuses Heard of ‘painting on bruises’

Depp has long denied any abusive behaviour on his part, and accused Heard of physically attacking him on a number of occasions during their brief marriage.

Heard, meanwhile, has also accused Depp of drug and alcohol dependency, claiming that he assaulted her several times.

The pair married in 2015, soon after meeting each other on the set of the movie The Rum Dairies, but split a year later, with Heard taking out a restraining order against Depp.

Depp's lawyers said in a statement to People: “Ms. Heard, the self-appointed leader of the #metoo movement despite a prior arrest and incarceration for violent domestic abuse, now faces a growing mountain of evidence including new female victims coming forward, a fraudulent letter to Homeland Security, scheming in writing with her lawyer to suborn witness perjury, and her infamous hoax getting obliterated by 24 sworn eyewitnesses, 2 police officers, 87 video surveillance tapes, audio tape, and her own sworn confessions of violence.”