Back in 2015, the film of Martin Amis’ classic novel London Fields, starring Amber Heard as a psychic temptress who knows she is about to be murdered, was supposed to be one of the highlights of the Toronto film festival.
The film was plunged into controversy when the movie's cast and director, including Heard, refused to show up to support it, alleging that the producers had hijacked the final cut of the movie and secretly inserted sex scenes filmed with a Heard body-double, and cutting scenes with references to the 9/11 terror attacks.
Now the producers are alleging that Heard’s sex scenes were a factor in the breakdown of her relationship with Johnny Depp.
The once hotly tipped film has been mired in legal limbo without a distributor for the past year, whilst a series of claims and counterclaims have swirled around it.
Among the most headline-grabbing of the legal claims filed was that of the producers alleging that Heard sabotaged the movie by refusing to appear in sex scenes she had previously signed up for.
The producers are suing Heard for $10 million for allegedly refusing to promote the movie and “falsely” claiming “she had not contractually agreed to allow the use of nudity” in it, which they said pressured distributors not to take on the film.
Heard retaliated when she claimed in late March of this year that the case shone “a spotlight on the dark underbelly of Hollywood," and said that the producer Christopher Hanley and his wife, Roberta, were a “lascivious and sexploitive couple” who secretly filmed “body-double footage” that “included an explicit pornographic sex scene that Heard would never have agreed to do herself.”
Heard also alleged the couple kept photographs of her in “various states of undress during wardrobe changes,” and had a “prurient interest in exploiting Heard—both on and off camera.”
In response, the producers have now fired back at Heard, arguing that the alleged failure of Heard to perform the nude scenes was part and parcel of her troubled relationship with her “jealous” ex-husband Johnny Depp, who has a small role in the movie.
According to Page Six, in the producers’ fresh response to Heard’s suit, they claim, “Heard’s misconduct... might have resulted, at least in part, from her tumultuous relationship with Mr. Depp, which was ongoing during the filming of London Fields.”
The producers say, according to Page Six, that, “The provocative nature of Heard’s femme fatale role in the film was a factor leading to her divorce from Depp.”
They claim she had approved the sex scenes but “reversed course, apparently under perceived or actual pressure from Depp (who, according to Heard, was extremely jealous).”
Depp reportedly was so enraged by Heard’s relationship with her co-star in the film, Billy Bob Thornton, that he sliced off the tip of his finger and wrote his name in blood on a mirror.
Thornton moved to deny the claim, telling TMZ that the cheating allegation was “completely false.”
Heard alleged that Depp was “drunk and high on ecstasy,” according to a report on TMZ at the time.
Although the injury itself reportedly happened accidentally, after Depp allegedly “smashed several bottles and windows and slammed a plastic phone against the wall,” court papers claimed Depp then took his bloody finger and dipped it in blue paint Heard had used for artworks and employed the mixture of the two liquids to write phrases such as “Starring,” “Billy Bob,” and “Easy Amber” on the wall.
The suit states “Heard has made numerous fantastical accusations against Depp, and reports of her alleged affair with co-star [Thornton] became so pervasive that Thornton issued a public denial.”
Page Six quotes Heard’s legal team as saying: “Desperate people say desperate things. The utter failure of London Fields is due to only one reason: the producers themselves... Their nefarious moves included illegally adding pornographic scenes with a body double resembling Amber Heard and a striptease scene with the same body double—deceitful moves expressly barred by her contract… No respectable actor would promote this piece of garbage.”
Depp’s rep said: “The dispute between the producers and Amber Heard has nothing to do with Johnny Depp. We are informed that the producers have also been sued by the director and another producer. The statements about Johnny are ridiculous.”
Unlike London Fields itself, this one could run and run.