According to a legal letter, obtained by The Blast, James Franco is asking that his deposition and any answers he gives about the ongoing case be sealed. Franco is asking that not only is the information kept private, but the fact that he is sitting for a deposition at all be kept from the public.
Franco’s attorney sent a letter to Johnny Depp’s team saying that prior to him agreeing to appear for his deposition, he wants a document put in place to protect any information he provides during questioning.
In fact, he is asking for a clause to be put in place so that if Depp or anyone leaks the transcripts there would be financial damages.
The letter begins, “I am checking with Mr. Franco regarding his availability during the weeks of January 20 or February 10. Please let me know if any dates during those weeks do not work for you. Please also provide me with an estimate regarding the time that each side will need to question him.”
It continues, “Prior to agreeing to appear, we request that a Protective Order re Confidentiality be entered by the Court that contains, among other provisions, the following: the transcript will not be used for any purpose other than the litigation; if any portion of the transcript is submitted to the Court, it be submitted under seal; no party can discuss the fact that Mr. Franco’s deposition is being or has been taken with any third party or anyone else including the press; no party can discuss Mr. Franco’s testimony and/or the transcript with (or show any portion of the transcript to) a third party or anyone else including the press; and if any party violates the confidentiality provisions, that party is responsible for liquidated damages (in an amount we can discuss).”
We broke the story, James Franco was seen with Amber Heard inside of the couple’s apartment building elevator just 24 hours after their blowout fight on May 21, 2016.
In a surveillance video, obtained by The Blast, Franco is seen entering the elevator and riding up to the penthouse level with Amber Heard, close to 11:00 pm on the night of May 22, 2016.
In the video, Amber can be seen keeping her face away from the camera but is seen moving back towards Franco to speak to him. Both Franco and Heard exit the elevator on the penthouse floor where Johnny Depp’s penthouse is located.
We’re told Depp’s legal team wants to question Franco about his interactions with Heard on the night in question. To start they want to ask him, under oath, if Amber Heard had any visible injuries to her face and body when he saw her that night. As we reported, Johnny denies he assaulted Amber and claims to have multiple pieces of evidence she did not have any facial injuries until later in the week when filing for a restraining order against him.
At the time, Amber’s lawyer told The Blast, Franco simply was riding the elevator at the same time as Heard. He claimed Franco had an apartment in the same building, and it was just by chance that the two were in the same place at the same time. Obviously, Depp’s lawyers don’t believe the story and want to question Franco about the situation.
It’s unclear at this time if Johnny Depp’s team will agree to Franco’s terms for taking the deposition…or not. The case is due to go to trial later this year.
As we reported, Amber Heard’s parents told Johnny Depp, the restraining order filed by their daughter after the couple’s blowout fight was not something she did “willingly or happily,” and even told him “I love you, son.”
In the text messages, obtained by The Blast, David and Paige Heard both interacted with Johnny Depp and seemed to try and comfort the ‘Pirates Of The Carribean’ actor about the situation.
The messages, which are now evidence in the ongoing legal battle between Depp and Heard, begin with Paige Heard attempting to explain to Depp that Amber made the choice of a restraining order to protect herself from being evicted from the couple’s luxury apartment.
At 7:59 PM Paige Heard sent Depp the following text:
“It’s the lawyers on both sides doing this not Amber. I heard the whole story very teary – if I could just talk to Johnny. She didn’t want this. Friggin lawyers on BOTH sides!! This was not her idea, not her wishes. She was told she would be evicted and out in 30days if she did not do this.”
At 8:03 PM, she continued:
“Her dumb lawyer possibly as the only way she would have a place to live in 30 days. She DID NOT want to do this I swear to you. The lawyers are frigging things up.”
At 8:40 PM Depp responded to Paige Heard: “if she didn’t want to file a restraining order against me and send a message to the world that i am some kind of violent wife beater …then why would she go to the courthouse with a photo of her that looks like she’s been abused??? this is my life too, what are my children and my children’s friends supposed to think??? I do not deserve this, and they do not deserve this… especially not from her.”
At 8:47 PM Paige Heard texted Depp:
Her lawyer told her she had to and she had to today. That’s why she wanted to talk to you. We didn’t talk so please never bring this up. But I’ll swear to you this was not her idea nor did she do it willingly or happily. She was told it was her ONLY option to not being kicked out. I’m not making excuses but that is what she believed. She did not want to do it. She felt she was betraying her only love but the lawyers said so.”
On the same night, Depp also texted back and forth with Amber’s father David Heard.
Johnny texted David, “Amber is calling this domestic violence!!! she submits a picture that says i threw the phone at her!!! she is putting herself in deep trouble if she continues to perjure herself… I have done nothing to deserve this!!! this is so f***ing sick.”
He continued, “i have 2 witnesses who were in the room when she said that i flung the phone at her. ABSOLUTE F***ING LIE!!! she wants a divorce, she get’s it. but the world will receive the truth and if she is caught perjuring herself (which she will).”
David Heard responded to Johnny Depp at 7:53 PM:
“The lawyer told her she had to or she would have no place to live in 30 days.”
Johnny Depp responded to David Heard at 7:59 PM:
that is absolute bulls***!!! HER LAWYER ASKED FOR TWO WEEKS at the downtown place… AND I SAID, “NO”!!! SHE COULD STAY THERE AS LONG AS SHE LIKED!!! WHY WOULD I FORCE HER OUT IN 2 WEEKS??? I AIN’T NO SCUMBAG!!!”