Johnny Depp Sues Business Managers For Fraud In $25 Million Lawsuit
Johnny Depp is suing his business managers for fraud. On Friday, the actor filed a $25 million lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Depp alleges The Management Group (TMG), including two of the company’s attorneys, took $28 million in fees from him, despite having no contract dictating such actions. The firm, which handled accounting, tax, and business matters for the star from 1999 to 2016, also allegedly did not properly file his taxes. He further claims his books were not accurately maintained, and that $10 million of his money was loaned to third parties without his approval.
In legal documents, Depp’s lawyer Matthew Kanny says, “Mr. Depp is one of the most sought after and highly paid actors in the world. He is also the victim of the gross misconduct of his business managers — The Management Group and attorneys Joel and Robert Mandel — who collected tens of millions of dollars of contingent fees, purportedly based on an oral contract, all at Mr. Depp’s expense.”
“TMG treated Mr. Depp’s income as their own, available to either TMG or third parties to draw upon as desired,” asserts Kanny, who further contends, “Adding insult to injury, TMG has now sought to foreclose on Mr. Depp’s primary residence, even though the alleged loan secured by Mr. Depp’s residence was made through TMG’s self-dealing and conflicts of interest, and the purported ‘default’ occurred solely as a result of TMG’s own misconduct.”
Kanny also says, “As a result of years of gross mismanagement and sometimes outright fraud, Mr. Depp lost tens of millions of dollars and has been forced to dispose of significant assets to pay for TMG’s self-dealing and gross misconduct.” He notes, “It was only recently, when Mr. Depp terminated TMG and hired new business management and accounting services, when Mr. Depp learned the gravity of his financial losses and some, but surely not all, of the underlying facts.”
Depp is suing for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence. He is seeking a minimum of $25 million in damages, but The Management Group is already firing back. Attorney Michael Kump says in a statement, “For 30 years, Joel and Rob Mandel, and their company The Management Group, have been trusted business managers to some of the most successful individuals and companies in the entertainment business For 17 of those years, they did everything possible to protect Depp from his irresponsible and profligate spending.”
He goes on to allege, “In December 2012, Depp faced financial ruin with the impending default on a $5 million bank loan. The Mandels bailed him out by loaning him $5 million, which he promised to repay by January 2014. Although Depp later changed managers, he never alleged any wrong doing. In October 2016, with Depp still owing $4.2 million, the Mandels started non judicial foreclosure proceedings against certain of Depp’s properties.”
“Depp’s lawsuit, filed on the eve of the sale of those properties, is a transparent attempt to derail the foreclosure by concocting and spreading malicious lies about the Mandels. His tactics and lawsuit will fail, and he will be forced to pay back the loan as promised,” says Kump.
The news of the suit comes just after a judge rejected a request from Depp’s estranged wife Amber Heard to modify their divorce settlement. He will continue to pay the actress $7 million, as previously agreed upon.