Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s legal teams are gathering statements and testimony from those who comprised the inner circle around the couple during their tumultuous marriage, and now the actresses’ former assistant has gone on record that she was mentally and verbally abused by Heard.
In a declaration obtained by The Blast, Kate James states she was Amber Heard’s personal assistant from 2012 through 2015 and describes the time working for the actress as a nightmare. James also mentions that she’s a seasoned vet in the entertainment industry and has been a “personal assistant to high profile people.”
James’ document explains how she was privy to many of the private interactions between Depp and Heard, including her first impression of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star:
”Amber was already dating Johnny when I started working for her. At first, Amber didn’t tell me who Johnny was, and would speak in disparaging terms about him. She would say that she was “dating this old man” and suchlike. She then disclosed that it was Johnny Depp, and I met him shortly after that. My first impression of him was how softly spoken and peaceful he was, almost a bit shy. He was very pleasant and courteous upon meeting me.”
James describes the “Aquaman” star as being a sponge to Depp and exhibiting “bizarre” behavior that didn’t fit her normal lifestyle. The assistant claims Heard went through an odd change that almost morphed her into a version of Depp.
“When I first visited Johnny’s home, I couldn’t believe how similar it was to what Amber was in the process of trying to create. It was almost identical,” James states.
She continued, “She went on and had Laura purchase an old-fashioned typewriter after she saw that Johnny had one. She threw away all paperback books and began curating an extensive collection of First Edition hardcover books (which I believe Johnny purchased for her at great expense). I found all this behaviour to be quite bizarre. When I first met Amber, her clothing style was what I would call preppy. Very soon afterwards, that also drastically changed, almost overnight, as she tried to morph into a bohemian way of dressing, wearing more and more silver jewelry, eventually adding a repertoire of hats, which also appeared to me to be mimicking Johnny’s style.”
James claims, “Amber relished the fame that came with dating Johnny,” and that she realized she could begin asking for “free designer clothing on the basis that she was his girlfriend.”
In fact, James’ duties began to change, as Heard allegedly began taking advantage of all that came with dating Depp.
“A large part of my job was contacting various brands with her requests for free clothing,” James wrote.
She added, “She would spend hours handpicking the requests she would then send to me so I could reach out. If the brand offered a discount rather than completely for free, she would refuse.”
James claims Heard’s alleged thrill of a free deal wasn’t the worst part of working for the star, as she soon began to dole out verbal and mental abuse towards the assistant.
”Amber was regularly verbally and mentally abusive and would often scream at me in that way, over the smallest things. She would fly into blind rages where no-one could reason with her, and even if I was trying to offer an explanation, I didn’t think that she could hear me as she was so angry. It was like she thought regular things that can go wrong in any person’s life on any given day didn’t apply to her. Everything that went wrong was always my fault. I remember one occasion where she missed a connection on a flight on or around Christmas Day in 2012. My aunt was visiting from Australia at that time. She was screaming abuse at me for literally hours as though I had made it snow and caused the disruptions to the flight.”
James also states that Heard did not like her having communication with Depp, no matter how trivial the conversation may be.
”Amber hated me talking to Johnny, even if it was just polite small-talk, she would give me the evil eye if she found me having a conversation with him. She was very controlling and paranoid about anyone else being in his space and also about being observed by his security.”
As for the reason behind her allegedly abusive behavior, James says she believes Heard regularly took hallucinogenic drugs and even bragged about it.
:Amber often took other drugs during the time of my employment, such as mushrooms and MDMA. She was open about it, almost to the point of bragging.”
”The assortment of drugs and a great deal of wine would mean that when I woke up in the morning, there would almost always be a barrage of incoherent abuse sent to me from Amber by text between around 2am and 4am. I discovered later that she had gone ahead and deleted all evidence of abusive texts from that ICloud account.”
After describing the tough time working with Heard, James describes her interactions with Depp much differently.
“In contrast, Johnny was calm and quite shy in all of my experiences of him. He was always thoughtful and kind, and a genuinely decent person. I remember on more than one occasion where I had to bring my son back to work with me after picking him up from school. Johnny would be there and would hang out with him, teaching him how to play the guitar. He would be patient and kind with him. I would never have left my son with Johnny while I was working if I had any concerns about him whatsoever.”
The stress eventually took a toll on her body, and James claims her family was extremely worried while she was working for Heard.
My friends and family would often ask me why I wouldn’t just quit, when they could see how much Amber’s treatment of me was affecting my mental and physical health. I ultimately became emaciated due to the extreme stress and the fact I had no time to eat with the crazy workload she bombarded me with constantly.
Perhaps most important to the defamation case, James’ declaration states that she never witnessed a violent altercation, such as the one that Heard described when Depp allegedly hurled a phone at her face.
“In the three years that I worked for Amber, I would go to her house almost every day, including on weekends. I would not announce when I was going to attend the apartment to drop things off or pick things up, so it would regularly be without notice. I never saw any sign of an altercation, or even the aftermath of a serious and messy fight in the way that Amber describes in her statements.”
”I never saw any physical violence by either Amber or Johnny. I saw Amber much more frequently than Johnny, almost every day for three years apart from when she was out of town. I understand that the period of my employment overlaps with the majority of incidents in which Amber has alleged that Johnny was violent towards her. I never once saw any bruising, swelling, or any evidence of what could have resulted from violence. I would often see her naked, or semi-naked, when she was getting dressed or at fittings. I was around her a lot, often 7 days a week.”
After her professional relationship with Heard ended, James claims she is “permanently scarred” by the incident and calls the actress a “classic bully.”
”With the benefit of hindsight, I now recognise Amber’s behaviour towards me as mental abuse. It still makes me extremely emotional to speak of my experience of working for her. I feel that I am permanently scarred by the experience. It was an exercise in daily humiliation. I felt constantly embarrassed that someone so much younger than me could make me feel so worthless. Amber was a classic bully. She enjoyed making me feel stupid.”
In response to the allegations, a spokesperson for Amber Heard tells The Blast, “This is a statement from a disgruntled former employee who was fired for poor performance and clearly has an agenda and an axe to grind. These ridiculous allegations have no basis in fact and no relevance to these proceedings.“
As we reported, Heard and Depp are fighting a legal battle on two fronts, one in the U.K where he is suing The Sun for defamation, and another where he is suing Heard in Virginia. Both cases appear to be heading for trial.