Johnny Depp was ‘very concerned’ about Amber Heard working with James Franco, acting coach says

Heard’s acting coach Kirsty Sexton previously testified as a witness during Depp’s 2020 UK libel case

Annabel Nugent
Thursday 19 May 2022 09:07
Video shows James Franco visiting Amber Heard at penthouse

Johnny Depp was “very concerned” about Amber Heard in roles opposite James Franco, her acting coach testified.

Kirsty Sexton gave testimony in the ongoing defamation trial brought on by Depp against ex-wife Heard.

Depp is suing Heard for $50m (£38.2m). He alleges that Heard implied that he abused her in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed about domestic violence.

Heard is countersuing for $100m (£80.9m), accusing Depp of orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her and describing his lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment”.

Sexton – who is Heard’s acting coach – gave video testimony on Wednesday (18 May).

She previously testified as a witness during Depp’s libel case. In November 2020, the actor lost a libel lawsuit in London against The Sun’s publisher after a 2018 headline labelled him a “wife beater” in relation to Heard.

During the libel case, Sexton claimed that Depp was controlling over Heard’s career and dictated the roles she was allowed to take.

Depp did not want Heard doing roles that involved sex scenes and was “very concerned” about any films that would require her working with James Franco, Sexton said.

Earlier this week, footage of Franco visiting Heard at her apartment the night she filed for divorce from Depp was played to jurors in the courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia.

Heard has previously testified that Depp assaulted her on a flight in 2014 after accusing her of having an affair with Franco. Depp has denied abusing Heard.

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Depp allegedly “hated” Franco, who starred with Heard in films such as Pineapple Express and The Adderall Diaries.

On Wednesday (18 May), Sexton said Heard would begin acting classes in tears after being made to cry by Depp, alleging that she would sometimes hear muffled arguments between the couple.

“I had to block out time cushions around [the acting classes],” she said in her pre-recorded testimony. “Because she would be sobbing when we started and we couldn’t work.”

She estimated that 80 to 90 per cent of their sessions in the last year of Heard’s marriage to Depp “began with [Heard] crying”.

She said that she would have called law enforcement had she seen Depp hit Heard.

You can follow along with The Independent’s live blog of the trial here.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, you can call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge, on 0808 2000 247, or visit their website here.

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