Johnny Depp is not having a splendid week. The Pirates of the Caribbean actor settled a massive lawsuit with his former lawyers, and his ex-wife claimed that Depp paid off witnesses in several hush money settlements.
Heard alleges that Depp used his former business firm The Management Group (TMG) paid off eyewitnesses to cover up his abuse of her. Heard said her ex-husband coerced his employees to cover up his alleged misconduct when he “violently abused” her. Heard found the payoffs by obtaining Depp’s financial information.
“For example, when text messages were published showing that Mr. Depp’s longtime assistant apologized to Ms. Heard for Mr. Depp’s ‘disgusting’ behavior, Mr. Depp pressured the assistant to falsely and publicly accuse Ms. Heard of ‘manufacturing’ those messages,” Heard’s filing in Los Angeles County Superior Court said.
“According to TMG, Mr. Depp ‘knew full well that the text messages were genuine but pressured and berated his assistant to falsely challenge the texts publicly,’” Heard’s filing states.
“TMG was aware that Mr. Depp abused Ms. Heard and pressured his employees to make false public statements denying that abuse,” Heard’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan said. “TMG also paid millions of dollars to various members of Mr. Depp’s staff, many of whom are witnesses in Mr. Depp’s lawsuit against Ms. Heard.”
Heard alleges that a TMG executive knew about Depp “violently kicked Heard during an incident that took place in or around 2014.” The celebrity couple had a heated divorce battle in 2016, where Heard claimed Depp threw a cell phone at her face, pulled her hair, smashed bottles of wine, and claimed he was an abusive and had an issue with alcohol.
Heard’s legal team alleges that Depp’s TMG paid “millions of dollars to ‘bail [Mr. Depp] out of numerous legal crises’ and make a series of hush money settlements.” TMG had handled Depp’s business dealings from 1999 until 2016, and then erupted into a heated lawsuit.
Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman called Heard’s filing a “smear.”
Johnny Depp and his former lawyers settled a $50 million malpractice suit that was launched in December of 2017. The lawsuit was supposed to go to trial on December 2.
“The former law firm of Bloom Hergott, with the help of its insurance carrier, has favorably settled the litigation with Johnny Depp for a fraction of his original demand,” lawyer Bryan Freedman said. “While the firm was confident it would prevail at trial, we are nonetheless pleased with this resolution as it expedites the firm’s winding down process and allows it to get off the endless Johnny Depp litigation train.”
“The law firm formerly known as Bloom Hergott, sued by Johnny Depp for a multi-decade fraud and malfeasance spree, and after losing a landmark 6147 ruling, avoided the shame of evidence in a public trial by paying Mr. Depp an eight-figure settlement,” Adam Waldman, Depp’s primary attorney for the past two years, told Deadline. “They are correct that eight figures is a fraction of nine figures.”
Deadline reported that Depp’s payout was “around $10 million” from Bloom.
This comes at the same time as legal teams are preparing for Depp’s $50 million defamation suit against Heard that is set to begin in February of 2020. Depp is suing Heard over her 2018 Washington Post op-ed about domestic violence, which was directed towards Depp without actually naming the actor. Amber wrote that there needs to be “changes to laws and rules and social norms” surrounding the issue of domestic violence.