Tuesday 16 January 2018

Johnny Depp's new lawsuit reveals the actor's lavish spending habits

Lavish: Johnny Depp goes from one lawsuit to another
Lavish: Johnny Depp goes from one lawsuit to another

Anthony McCartney

Johnny Depp has brought his former business managers to court, alleging they mismanaged his earnings during a lucrative period of his career.

The company has countered, saying the actor's spending is to blame.

Depp's lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against The Management Group seeks more than $25m, alleging its owners failed to properly pay his taxes, made unauthorised loans and overpaid for security and other services.

Lawyers for The Management Group called Depp's lawsuit a "fabrication" and wrote in a statement that Depp never alleged any wrongdoing. The company says they "did everything possible to protect Depp from his irresponsible and profligate spending".

Depp's lawsuit accuses the company and its owners - attorneys Joel and Robert Mandel - of receiving $28m in payments for their services over the roughly 16 years they managed his finances. The company "actively concealed the true state of Mr Depp's finances while driving him deeper and deeper into financial distress," the lawsuit states.

Depp hired the Mandels in 1999 and their compensation was not subject to a written contract, his lawsuit states. It states they received 5pc of his income on hit films such as Pirates of the Caribbean and other major releases, including Alice in Wonderland and the 2005 version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

It alleges the company failed to file Depp's tax returns on time, costing him nearly $5.7m in penalties. The lawsuit also alleges the company overpaid for several services - including forgetting to terminate the lease on a home where Depp's mother lived temporarily, and spending $8m on security between 2012 and 2015 alone.

Depp learned of the problems after hiring a new management company in March 2016, the complaint states.

Management Group lawyers say Depp in fact owes The Management Group $4.2m from a $5m loan they provided the actor. "His tactics and lawsuit will fail, and he will be forced to pay back the loan as promised," wrote the lawyers.

The lawsuit came on the same day Depp finalised his divorce from actress Amber Heard. Their divorce judgment calls for the actor to pay his ex-wife $7m in installments - which she has earmarked for two charities - while allowing him to keep numerous properties and cars.

Depp isn't the only blockbuster star to take his former managers to court alleging mismanagement. Nicolas Cage sued his former business manager seeking $20m for alleged mismanagement in 2009 and the manager in a countersuit cited the actor's spending for his financial troubles. The case was resolved before trial.

Sunday Independent

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