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,” James said.
the Pirates of the Caribbean the 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 her lawyers argue that this 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.
James’ video testimony offered the opposite view: Depp was the peacemaker, 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,” James said.
Heard was ‘very dramatic’: former assistant
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.
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 went into a “blind rage” when James failed to place the magazines in the garage, James said.
Regarding Heard and Depp’s time together, James said Heard was a “very dramatic person” who was deeply insecure in the relationship. Heard often called James to cry and complain about Depp, she said.
“I remember one time when she called me when she was alone in New York, and she was crying and walking through the streets,” James said. She said she told Heard to come in, “I was afraid the paparazzi would take a picture of her.”
Questions surround text message
Part of the deposition related to a text message Depp sent James after he and Heard split. 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. James said she didn’t want to speculate.
“That’s how he writes,” James said of Depp. “It’s very random and you don’t question it…He writes in a very abstract way.”
Depp and Heard are set to testify at the trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia, scheduled for six weeks, alongside actors Paul Bettany and James Franco and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.