Johnny Depp is sending a subpoena to James Franco after surveillance video from the apartment Depp used to share with ex-wife Amber Heard allegedly shows Franco meeting up with Heard just 24 hours after the blowout fight that ended the couple’s marriage.
The video, obtained by The Blast, was taken in the elevator of the downtown Los Angeles apartment once shared by Depp and Heard. The time stamp on the video shows it was taken on May 22, 2016, close to 11:00 PM.
Heard is seen in the video riding the elevator down to the area where guests would enter the building via the parking area. She exits the elevator and then, a few seconds later, Heard and Franco appear and re-enter the elevator together.
Interestingly, the two stars seem to know there is a camera in the elevator (and its location) as they don’t allow for their faces to been seen clearly during the ride.
At one point, Heard is seen moving backward towards Franco, keeping her face away from the camera, and moves in close as she appears to be speaking with him while he keeps his head down.
Franco and Heard exit the elevator together on the penthouse floor, where the Depp’s apartment with Heard was located. Depp’s legal team wants to question Franco to see if he and Heard discussed the blowout fight or if Franco saw whether or not Heard had injuries to her face from the previous night.
In the video, Franco is seen wearing a hat and shirt he was seen wearing during the same time period in 2016. The hat is from The Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles and it, along with his shirt, is seen in photographs taken at a book signing in the same area.
Depp’s legal team is calling James Franco a “witness” and plan to grill him under penalty of perjury about what Heard might have said about the incident.
Depp’s attorney, Adam Waldman tells The Blast, “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 and when she went to court with painted on ‘bruises’ to obtain a Temporary Restraining Order on May 27.”
As The Blast first reported, Telsa and Space X founder Elon Musk was also seen entering the building in the weeks following Heard’s restraining order filing in Los Angeles.
We are told Depp will issue a civil subpoena to Franco to sit for a deposition in the $50 million defamation lawsuit that Depp filed against Heard.
As far as why Franco and Heard would be together the night after the alleged violent incident with her husband, Heard’s legal team claims Franco lived in the building at the time or prior to the incident. So it makes sense he would be riding up that specific elevator.
Heard’s lawyer, Eric George, tells The Blast, “This bogus story is just another lame attempt by Johnny Depp and his team to spread deliberately misleading information through the media so that he can continue to attack and abuse his ex-wife.”
George continues, “Amber Heard and James Franco once lived in the same apartment complex and were simply taking an elevator at the same time. Period.”
He ends with a parting shot, “It’s pathetic.”
Depp’s lawyer disagrees, telling The Blast, “Surveillance footage and sworn witnesses place Mr. Musk and Mr. Franco separately sneaking into Johnny Depp’s penthouse in the nights after Amber Heard’s May 21 face beating claims. Ms. Heard’s team has now admitted Mr. Franco is the man cuddling with a nightgown-clad, perfect-faced Ms. Heard and hiding from the elevator surveillance camera at 11:00 PM on May 22, the day after her face beating hoax. Lies beget lies. Ms. Heard’s absurd pre-textual excuse for Mr. Franco’s presence in the elevator to Mr. Depp’s penthouse floor is that it was a chance encounter because James Franco ‘lived in the building.'”
He continues, “That is a lie. Mr. Franco didn’t and doesn’t live in the building. Nor does he live in the hallway of Mr. Depp’s private penthouse floor to which elevator 3 goes.”
As The Blast previously reported, the judge in the defamation case set a trial date for next year. The judge estimates the trial will last 12 days.
In a restraining order she filed following the incident, Heard claims on the night of May 21, 2016, Depp threw a phone that hit the actress in the face.
In her response to the defamation suit Depp filed, Heard claimed that Depp began to abuse drugs and alcohol about a year into their relationship. She claims he frequently went in and out of “alcohol dependency medical care” and claims the drug use made him “a totally different person” that she dubbed “the Monster.”
Heard claims that the first time Depp hit her was in late 2012 or early 2013, saying she laughed at something he had said and he responded by slapping her across the face multiple times.
Earlier this year, Depp filed a defamation lawsuit after Heard went public again about the allegations.
In the suit, Depp said, “I have denied Ms. Heard’s allegations vehemently since she first made them in May 2016…when she walked into court to obtain a temporary restraining order with painted-on bruises that witnesses and surveillance footage show she did not possess each day of the preceding week. I will continue to deny them for the rest of my life. I never abused Ms. Heard or any other woman.”
Depp says he decided to file the lawsuit “not only to clear my name and restore my reputation, but to attempt to bring clarity to the women and men whose lives have been harmed by abuse and who have been repeatedly lied to by Ms. Heard purporting to be their spokesperson.”
It’s unclear if Franco will answer any of the questions or fight the subpoena.
The Blast reached out to James Franco and his representatives, so far no comment.