Amber Heard is hardly known for shyness in Hollywood, but she doesn’t take off her clothes for just any filmmaker, according to contentious legal battle over nude scenes in the film “London Fields.” The dispute, she asserts, unmasks the “dark underbelly” of film nudity in Hollywood.
Heard, 30, apparently felt strongly enough about nude scenes in the film to include a “Nudity Rider” to her contract.
“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,” according to a countersuit her lawyers filed yesterday (Mar. 31).
“This case shines a spotlight on the dark underbelly of Hollywood,” her lawsuit against producer Christopher and Roberta Handley asserts.
Christopher Handley “…expressly agreed to Heard’s terms, and they were memorialized in the Nudity Rider to her contract,” the countersuit states.
The producer, however, allegedly got around the restriction by using a body double posing as Heard to film several “explicit” nude scenes, which were included in a so-called “Producer’s Cut” of the film.
Heard asserts that the arrangement violated 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.”
The scene involves a female police officer, who sexually assaults another woman with a police baton.
The movie is based on the 1989 Martin Amis novel. It stars Billy Bob Thornton as Samson Young, a terminally ill writer living in London, who has suffered from writer’s block for 20 years.
Jim Sturgess, Theo James, Johnny Depp, Cara Delevingne and Jaimie Alexander also co-star.
Heard, who was married to Depp at the time, plays a “femme fatale” by the name of Nicola Six.
Hanley claims in court papers the actress agreed to nudity in the film. He also charged Heard with breach of contract and tortuous interference for failing to promote the film. In all, he is seeking $10 million in damages.
The Nudity Rider gives her the right “to view the nude and sex scenes and approve such scenes, which contain straight-on nipple or below-the-waist frontal nudity, once the final cut of the picture has been completed and prior to any public viewing of the picture,” his lawsuit states.
“Ms. Heard excitedly signed onto the starring role in London Fields, co-written by Roberta Hanley and esteemed novelist Martin Amis, and then for her own reasons, she illicitly tried to change the role and hijack the movie,” a lawyer for Hanley told E! News.
The lawyer called her countersuit a “work of fiction.”
Complicating matters, Director Mathew Cullen charged in a separate lawsuit that the film’s production company, Nicola Six Limited, “hijacked” the final cut of “London Fields.”
Again, the dispute was over nude scenes.
Hanley claims Cullen “secretly made unauthorized changes” to some of the movie’s more provocative scenes.
Heard allegedly worked with Cullen “to make unauthorized, material changes.” Cullen then created a “Director’s Cut” incorporating their changes.
That led Hanley to create a “Producer’s Cut,” which apparently included the controversial nude scenes. Heard, he charges, refused to support his version, despite contractual obligations.
Heard was a no show at the movie’s Toronto International Film Festival premiere in Sept. 2015 and other promotional events, the suit states.
The film, however, was never screened. It was pull after Cullen sued Hanley and Nicola Six for using his name to promote the Producer’s Cut, which he did not support.
Hanley and Nicola Six countersued Cullen the following month alleging an array of missteps including going $2 million over budget and missing deadlines to deliver the movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
He also charged Cullen encouraged the movie’s actors to boycott the film.
The lawsuits are all still pending.