Wednesday, June 29 2022

A former personal assistant to Amber Heard said she never saw the actress suffer physical abuse from her then-husband Johnny Depp, but she said Heard once spat on her in the face when she asked for a higher salary.

Heard falling into fits of blind rage, texting incoherently at 4 a.m. and was often drunk and high on illegal drugs, Kate James testified in a video deposition that was released in court Thursday during the trial for Depp’s libel action against Heard.

Depp, on the other hand, was very quiet, almost shy, “like a true Southern gentleman”, Ms James said.

The Pirates of the Caribbean actor accused Heard of indirectly defaming him in a 2018 opinion piece she wrote for The Washington Post.

Heard refers in the article to a “public figure representing domestic violence”.

The piece does not name Depp, but his attorneys say it clearly refers to a restraining order Heard sought in May 2016, just after Depp told her he wanted a divorce.

Depp denies abusing Heard, but Heard’s lawyers say the evidence will prove he did. The actor’s denials, they claim, lack credibility because he drank and used drugs frequently to the point of passing out and not remembering what he was doing.

Ms James’ video testimony offered the opposite view: Depp was the peaceful one, she said, while Heard was frequently drunk and verbally abusive, including towards her own mother and sister.

“His poor sister was treated like a kicked dog, basically,” Ms James said.

Ms James, who worked for Heard from 2012 to 2015, said she was “very poorly paid”.

She said she was hired with an initial salary of $25 an hour and her duties ranged from picking up Heard’s dry cleaning to speaking with the actress’ Hollywood agents.

Ms James said she was also responsible for collecting two copies of any magazine featuring Heard and storing them in the garage to prevent Depp from seeing them. Heard flew into a “blind rage” when Ms James failed to place the magazines in the garage, Ms James said.

Regarding Heard and Depp’s time together, Ms James said Heard was a “very dramatic person” who was deeply insecure in the relationship.

Heard often called Ms James to complain about Depp, she said.

Kate James testifies by video.(PA: Shawn Thew)

Part of the deposition focused on a text message Depp sent to Ms James after he and Heard parted ways. Depp’s text read, “Come for a stain of purple and we’ll fix her saggy ass good and good.”

A lawyer asked if “purple stain” meant wine and if “she” meant Heard. Ms James said she did not want to speculate.

“That’s how he writes,” Ms James said of Depp.

“It’s very random and you don’t question it. … He writes in a very abstract way.”

The attorneys also presented a video deposition from Laurel Anderson, a couples therapist who worked with Heard and Depp in 2015, when they were 29 and 52, respectively.

Ms Anderson said the two had suffered abuse as children and as a couple they engaged in ‘mutual abuse’.

Heard’s father beat her, Ms Anderson said, adding: ‘It was a point of pride for her if she felt disrespected to start a fight.’

Heard would also rather have a fight with Depp than see him go, and would “beat him to keep him there”, Ms Anderson said.

The therapist recalled a time when Heard told her that Depp was “stepping up,” as she would say, on a lot of drugs.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp pose in front of a logo wall at a red carpet event, both in evening attire.
Heard filed for a restraining order against Depp in May 2016. (PA: Jordan Strauss )

“And she slapped him because he was incoherent and talking about being with another woman,” Ms Anderson said.

Ms Anderson said Depp told her Heard ‘gave it all she had’. She also said that in at least one shoot in which she saw Heard alone, the actress told her that Depp had hit her. She said Heard showed her bruises, both in photos and in person.

Ms Anderson said Heard also told her that Depp allegedly said at one point: “Nobody likes you. I make you famous. I’m falling in love with you. You’re a whore.”

Heard “wanted a divorce”, but didn’t either, and was still figuring out what to do, Ms Anderson said.

“She loved him. He loved her. She wasn’t stupid. She knew what they were doing wasn’t healthy,” she said.

Depp and Heard are set to testify at the trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court, scheduled for six weeks, alongside actors Paul Bettany and James Franco and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.

PA

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