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Amber Heard stole my experience as a rape survivor, her former assistant tells Johnny Depp libel action

Hollywood PA claims actress had pool party after plane row

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Amber Heard arrives at the High Court in London. Photo: REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Amber Heard arrives at the High Court in London. Photo: REUTERS/Hannah McKay

REUTERS

Amber Heard arrives at the High Court in London. Photo: REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Amber Heard's Hollywood PA has accused her of stealing her experience as a survivor of sexual assault and twisting it into her own story in her battle with Johnny Depp.

Kate James said her former employer had taken elements of her personal account of being raped and used them for her own ends.

In her witness statement, Ms James said: "To my utter shock and dismay, I discovered that Ms Heard had in fact stolen my sexual violence conversation with her and twisted it into her own story to benefit herself. . .

"This caused me extreme distress and outrage that she would dare attempt to use the most harrowing experience of my life as her own narrative."

Her statement came on the seventh day of Mr Depp's case against 'The Sun' publisher, News Group Newspapers, and Dan Wootton, its executive editor, over an article from April 2018 alleging Mr Depp was violent towards Ms Heard (34), before and during their marriage.

His lawyers say the article suggested there was "overwhelming evidence" Mr Depp assaulted Ms Heard on a number of occasions and left her "in fear for her life".

Ms James, who arranged Ms Heard's personal and work schedules until her contract was terminated in 2015, revealed she had felt compelled to give evidence in support of Mr Depp.

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Johnny Depp (second from left, back row) leaves the same court, later in the day. Photo: REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Johnny Depp (second from left, back row) leaves the same court, later in the day. Photo: REUTERS/Hannah McKay

REUTERS

Johnny Depp (second from left, back row) leaves the same court, later in the day. Photo: REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Speaking via video link from Los Angeles, Ms James told the High Court: "I'm a sexual violence survivor and that's very, very serious to take that story if you're not one, and I am one, and that's the reason I'm here."

Ms James said she had told Ms Heard in 2013 that as a young woman, 26 years ago, she was raped at machete-point in Brazil.

She said she was recently shocked to discover that Ms Heard had allegedly misrepresented and exploited it in a witness statement.

The court was not told which elements of Ms James's account were used by Ms Heard or in what way.

The PA - who now works for a senior Hollywood figure - also accused Ms Heard of having a "pool party" with friends after declaring that she had to leave Mr Depp and check into a hotel because he had once again attacked her, this time on a private flight from Boston to LA in May 2014.

Ms Heard had texted her to say: "I have to leave JD - he's just freaked out on me - he's drinking again, worse than ever, I need to get out."

But Ms James (52) questioned why Ms Heard needed a hotel when she still had her own apartment in LA to escape to, adding: "I don't know why she went to the Chateaux [Hotel] with four of her friends and they basically had a pool party all day. They were drinking and swimming and having fun."

The court was earlier told that Ms Heard "demanded" a member of Mr Depp's staff make a false statement to Australian authorities about their two dogs being smuggled into the country.

Kevin Murphy, who worked as estate manager for Mr Depp for almost eight years, claimed that Ms Heard forced him to declare that she was "unaware" that it would be illegal to take the terriers with her, despite him having "repeatedly" told her.

Ms Heard faced criminal proceedings over the alleged incident in 2015.

Mr Murphy admitted that he co-operated with Ms Heard's request, despite discomfort. He said: "[...]Ms Heard responded with words to the effect of: 'Well I want your help on this... I wouldn't want you to have a problem with your job'. Ms Heard's threatening language made me feel anxious and uneasy."

The case continues.

Irish Independent