Amber Heard has filed a lawsuit against the producers of the troubled film adaptation of Martin Amis’s London Fields, over the recording of an “explicit pornographic sex scene” involving the actor’s body double.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Heard is suing London Fields producer Christopher Hanley and his wife Roberta, the film’s screenwriter, for violating a “nudity rider” included in her contract by shooting footage that she had no knowledge of after she had left the set. Heard’s lawyer says that the footage, featured in a producer’s cut of the film, was edited so as to leave audiences “with the distinct impression that it was Heard” in the scene.
“Amber Heard is the latest victim of this lascivious and sexploitive couple,” the suit alleges. “After reading the script, she insisted on specific restrictions about nudity and sex scenes in the film as a condition to agreeing to appear in the movie. Hanley expressly agreed to Heard’s terms, and they were memorialised in the nudity rider to her contract.
“The Hanleys also caused to be filmed secretly several additional nude and sex scenes with a body double for Heard and included them in the producer’s cut – also in violation of the nudity rider. The secret filming of this body double footage was not on the schedule that had been provided to Heard and was shot with a skeleton crew only after Heard had completed filming and had left the set.
“The body double footage included an explicit pornographic sex scene that Heard would never have agreed to do herself … the body double footage was designed and intended to leave anyone who saw the images with the distinct impression that it was Heard.”
Heard’s lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal actions to have plagued the film, which remains unreleased. It was slated to appear at the Toronto film festival in 2015, but was removed from the festival lineup when the film’s director Matthew Cullen filed a suit against the producers for fraud. Cullen alleged that his name had been used in the film’s promotional campaign despite him having not agreed to the final cut, which he said included “incendiary imagery evoking 9/11 jumpers edited against pornography, as well as juxtaposing the holiest city in Islam against mind-control.”
In response, the film’s producers filed a cross-complaint against Cullen for violating his contract by failing to deliver the film on time and refusing to engage in promotional activities. That was followed by a suit by the producers against Heard, who they alleged had “breached performance and promotional obligations” and had mounted a “misguided and unlawful conspiratorial campaign” against the film.
The lawsuit filed by Heard also alleges that Hanley demanded “continuity pictures” of the actor in “various states of undress during wardrobe changes”. The pictures are used to make sure actors’ make-up remains consistent from scene to scene, but Heard alleges that they were retained by Hanley after filming had been completed.
“The cross-complaint is a work of fiction, worthy of Ms Heard’s London Fields character Nicola Six, and it marks the latest in a series of fantastical allegations she has made,” says the plaintiff’s lawyer Mathew Rosengart in response to the allegations.
Published in 1989, London Fields is one of Amis’s best-known works. A film adaptation of the book first went into production in 2001, with David Cronenberg attached to direct. Directors Michael Winterbottom and David Mackenzie were also attached, before Cullen signed on to make the film in 2013.
Those who have seen the film, which stars Billy Bob Thornton alongside Heard, have been critical of it. Reviewing it before its withdrawal from the Toronto film festival, the Hlcarpenter.com’s Henry Barnes described it as “awfully silly”.