Amber Heard sues London Fields producer over sex scene body-double

Megan Williams
Amber Heard with Theo James and Jim Sturgess in beleaguered production London Fields: Steffan Hill

Amber Heard has become embroiled in a legal dispute over her latest film, London Fields.

The crime thriller, based on the 1989 Martin Amis novel of the same name, stars Heard as clairvoyant and femme fatale Nicola Six, who becomes involved with three different men.

The cast also includes Billy Bob Thornton as Samson Young, and Heard’s ex-husband Johnny Depp, who makes a small cameo role.

However, the film may never see the light of day. The Australian actress is currently in the midst of a lawsuit with producer Christopher Hanley and his wife, Roberta Hanley, who wrote the screenplay.

The couple initially claimed that Heard failed to comply with her contractual obligations, however the actress is now counter-suing due to alleged “sexploitation” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The cross-complaint comes as a result of a replacement body double for Heard, which had been used in the film for explicit sex scenes involving a policewoman and a detainee.

Heard claims that she was not even aware that such scenes existed and that they were especially designed so as to suggest that it is definitely Heard in the scenes.

The lawsuit also involves the use of “continuity photos”, which are intended to help hair and make-up appear consistent throughout filming. The cross-complaint states that Hanley has “no legitimate business purpose” to keep the photographs after filming had ended.

Along with the counter-sue, Heard is attempting to permanently prevent the distribution of the film as long as it includes the scenes that are the subject of the dispute.

This is not the first time that the producers of London Fields have come under fire due to legal issues relating to the film.

In 2015, Global News reported that director Matthew Cullen was suing the Hanleys both for fraud and for using his name for promotional reasons, despite his claims that several scenes are “highly offensive and neither appear in the script nor are part of the film that Cullen was asked to direct".

The film was meant to be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015, but it was pulled from the line-up the day before its premiere.