Throughout Johnny Depp’s $50 million defamation suit against ex-wife Amber Heard, Heard and her team have attempted to cast doubt on Depp’s credibility by painting him as a violent alcoholic.
Meanwhile, a new report from the U.K’.s Daily Mail revealed one key player on Heard’s PR team allegedly has plenty of skeletons in his own closet.
Last month, Heard hired PR expert David Shane amid her court battle with Depp. On May 2, The Hollywood Reporter said Heard had ditched Precision Strategies, the firm that had been handling her PR duties.
Heard was reportedly frustrated with the way she was being portrayed in the media throughout the trial and blamed Precision Strategies for that problem. She hired David Shane’s firm, Shane Communications, as her new PR partner.
On Monday, the Daily Mail reported it had talked to multiple sources who said Shane has a long history of alcohol and sexual harassment-related problems. Multiple former colleagues of Shane spoke anonymously to the outlet for fear of retaliation against them.
The colleagues said Shane was investigated by the HR departments of both Hewlett-Packard and Juniper for sexual harassment claims, and he ended up leaving both companies.
One colleague from Juniper told the Daily Mail Shane paid women to attend a 2011 conference in Hong Kong. Shane allegedly said he wanted to “improve the gender balance.”
“He thought it was too heavily male, and so added some females into the mix,” the former staffer said. “It was wildly inappropriate. He thought there needed to be women there to sort of create a festive mood with all the guys in the room. It was kind of to give it a more club feeling.
“They were dressed nicely, but provocatively. There were several Australians, a couple of Brits. They were working the room for sure.”
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Another former colleague from Juniper alleged Shane tried to force himself on young women at the company.
“The way he would go about it would be to really start complimenting the young hot chick on the account, then say ‘Hey, can you do this special project for me?’” the former colleague told the Daily Mail. “Then the sidebar meetings, or phone calls, like, ‘Hey, I need something really urgently, can I call you?’ Then it would devolve into behavior where he would push himself on the young people.
“These were young women who are starting out fresh in their career, not knowing how to handle it. It was typical, textbook grooming, harassment and taking advantage of younger people who might not know better or are afraid to speak out.”
Shane served as the vice president of communications at Hewlett-Packard from 2008 to 2010 and served in the same role at Juniper from 2010 to 2012, the Daily Mail reported. It was unclear whether he left the companies as a result of the investigations.
In a statement to the Daily Mail, Shane’s lawyer said the allegations were “false” and a distraction from the case at hand. However, Shane’s troubles do not end there.
The outlet also obtained court documents reportedly showing Shane had been charged with two separate DUIs in 2010 and 2012. This is especially ironic given Heard and her team’s attempt to portray Depp as an alcoholic.
In addition, former model Hollie Doker alleged in an interview with the Daily Mail that Shane attempted to force her to perform sexual acts on him.
Doker said she went on two dates with Shane after meeting him on the dating app Raya. After the second date, she said he started acting inappropriately.
“He started getting really aggressive, like ‘come to my bedroom, let’s have sex,’” Doker said. “I’m like, ‘no’. I even lied to him and told him I was on my period because I just felt so uncomfortable.
“He said, ‘I took you on these amazing dates to these really great restaurants,’ insinuating that I owed it to him. At that point, he started getting super aggressive, and he pushed my head down, towards that [his crotch]. I told him no, and I got up. He got angry and was like, ‘I’ll call you a f****** Uber.’”
Shane’s lawyer also denied this allegation to the Daily Mail and said the story “dramatically conflicts with Ms. Doker’s original account that she posted over three years ago.”
While most of these allegations against Shane are unproved, the concerns seem to be shared by multiple people who know and worked with him. At the very least, they certainly raise questions about Shane’s credibility.