Johnny Depp and his former business managers (The Mandel Co.) are embroiled in a lawsuit over their alleged mismanagement of his funds, and things are heating up.
As a part of their defence, The Mandel Co. claims that the Hollywood actor misused his own funds with lavish spending and a frivolous lifestyle.
Depp’s legal turmoil had only just started after settling his divorce from fellow actor Amber Heard in August 2016 for $7 million. In mid-January 2017, Depp filed a lawsuit against his former business managers, alleging their “gross misconduct” caused him to lose “tens of millions of dollars.”
In the 52-page filing, Depp, 53, claims that The Mandel Co. (TMG in the legal documents) and other listed defendants mismanaged his fortune, causing him to lose at least $25 million, which is the amount he’s suing them for. The Pirates of the Caribbean star also alleges TMG failed to file his taxes by the deadline, forcing him to incur $5.7 million in late fees.
Among the stranger, more extreme items that Depp allegedly purchased: $30,000 per month on buying and importing wine, $4 million on a failed record label and $3 million to blast late journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes out of a cannon, among a half-dozen other expenditures.
The big bombshell was the allegation that Depp wears an earpiece on set (while shooting) and pays someone hundreds of thousands of dollars to feed him lines.
In documents filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, TMG continues to fight back against Depp, releasing a 109-page document containing emails from Depp and communications from TMG to members of Depp’s team.
“Since my email to you in September, I have done what I was told you wanted done, meaning, ‘getting us through’ financially until work could start again,” wrote TMG principal Joel Mandel on Dec. 6, 2009. “Notwithstanding, I need your help in a variety of ways.”
Mandel goes on to encourage Depp to “take it easy” with spending over the holidays, and attempted to set up a meeting, to “look realistically at income and expenses and to work together on how to make sure that these are back in balance.”
In Depp’s reply, the actor says he’s doing his best to keep his spending to a minimum but scoffs at the idea of taking a commercial flight — “with paparazzis in tow [it] would be a f**king nightmare of monumental proportions.”
He says he’s about to start The Tourist (pay: $20 million), then the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie (pay: $35 million), and lastly Dark Shadows (pay: $20 million), and the influx of money should keep him in good stead.
“What else can I do??” he writes. “i [sic] got bikes, cars, property, books, paintings and some semblance of a soul left. where would you like me to start???”
TMG claims Depp consistently lies to the public and to authorities and relies on his “army of attorneys” to get him out of legal jams. While they don’t get into detail about these alleged incidents, the business managers plan on revealing everything at trial.
“Depp’s 45-page complaint against TMG, which is replete with demonstrably false and fraudulent allegations, was filed solely to avoid the non-judicial foreclosure of his properties,” wrote TMG lawyer Michael Kump. “And is just another example of Depp’s pattern of habitual lies and deception designed to avoid responsibility for his actions.”
Kump further suggested at the time of filing that Depp undergo some sort of mental-health evaluation because of his alleged erratic, unpredictable behaviour.
“In retrospect, it appears that Depp may suffer from a compulsive spending disorder, which will be proven in this action through a mental examination of Depp… and expert testimony. On information and belief, Depp’s flagrant bragging about his senseless and extreme spending to The Wall Street Journal is further evidence of his psychological issues.”
In an early May interview with The Wall Street Journal, Depp fired back at his ex-managers and defended himself. He also justified his spending.
“Why didn’t they drop me as a client if I was so out of control?” he said. “I’ve worked very, very hard for a lot of years and trusted a lot of people, some who’ve clearly let me down. It’s my money. If I want to buy 15,000 cotton balls a day, it’s my thing.”
As of this writing, Depp’s legal team has not commented on the filing.