The producers of London Fields have filed a lawsuit against Amber Heard, accusing the actress of sabotaging the film in which she stars.
The suit – which was filed in Los Angeles superior court yesterday, according to the Hollywood Reporter – states that “Heard’s conspiracy, her campaign against the picture, and her contractual breaches… have damaged the picture, causing substantial harm to the plaintiff, the picture, and the picture’s investors”. It alleges that the actress has an ongoing “misguided and unlawful conspiratorial campaign” against the film – an adaptation of Martin Amis’s 1989 novel of the same name – in which she appeared alongside Billy Bob Thornton, Jim Sturgess and Cara Delevingne, as well as her former husband, Johnny Depp, who made a cameo appearance.
In the $10 million lawsuit, Heard is accused of breaching contractual agreements, including confidentiality obligations and “failing to render acting services in conformity with the shooting script and refusing to attend the Toronto premiere or engage in other promotional services”. Elaborating on the scenes that Heard is said to have refused to participate it, the document continues: “As a result of Heard’s refusal to comply with her contractual obligations – including her improper refusal to act in provocative scenes contained in the pre-approved script – key scenes in the script had to be removed and/or rewritten to accommodate Heard’s behaviour.”
This is not the first legal issue that the film has encountered. It was removed from the line-up at Toronto Film Festival last year, at which it was slated to be unveiled, following reports that the director, Mathew Cullen, was filing a lawsuit accusing the producers of fraud. In the suit, Cullen alleged that Christopher Hanley and its other producers were using his name to market a version of the film that had been revised without his knowledge. Hanley launched a cross-complaint a few months later, accusing Cullen of breaching his contract to deliver the project on budget and on time.
The latest lawsuit, which is reportedly related to the previous claims, asserts that the actions of Heard and Cullen, as well as other members of the cast, have prevented the star-studded film from a proper release.
“While the inherent tension between actors and directors (on the one hand) and producers (on the other) is nothing new in Hollywood, the unauthorised and unlawful acts of Heard, Cullen, and others – most notably, their campaign to damage plaintiff, the picture, and the picture’s investors – are perhaps unprecedented,” the complaint against Heard reads. “Indeed, as a result of their misconduct, which continues to this day, the very promising picture remains in limbo, hijacked and placed under a cloud by Heard, Cullen, and others.”
Heard has not yet commented on the lawsuit.
By Scarlett Conlon