EXCLUSIVE: Johnny Depp and his former business managers will not be kicking off a potential messy and revealing trial over the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald star’s long-held fraud claims of $25 million next month after all.
After a long weekend in which attorneys for both Depp and the Management Group went hard, the parries reached a confidential settlement, I hear. While no one is talking, both sides in what has been a sometimes bitter and revelatory legal knife fight are happy with the deal, Deadline has learned.
Prodded by a Los Angeles judge and overseen by a retired one, the managed mediation between Depp’s lawyer and TMG’s reps from Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP comes after the actor’s primary attorney Ben Chew of Washington D.C.’s Brown Rudick failed late last month to get the August 15 starting trial pushed back. It’s rare for a plaintiff to seek a delay in a trial that they requested, and the unusual hearing came on the heels of a long Rolling Stone profile of the Depp that pretty much everyone agrees was not a winner for the actor. Another factor in the agreement hammered out over talks on Saturday and Sunday was Depp finally sitting down for a frequently postponed deposition in the matter back in May in L.A.
Now, with the deal sealed, all that’s old news and all that is left is the formalities.
Which means, if things go as they usually do in these things, that in the next couple of weeks, dismissal filings are likely to pop up in L.A. Superior Court dropping Depp’s initial action of January 2017 and the commission-seeking cross-complaint that soon followed. The November 2017 action for judicial foreclosure against several of the actor’s City of Angels properties by TMG over a $5 million loan that they said that made to him will also be closed.
Following the submission of that paperwork, the settlement agreement is expected to be approved before the August 15 trial start date, which is basically a moot note on the calendar at this point. A fact that will make Warner Bros very happy as sources say that the studio was not looking forward to a public hearing of The Crimes of Grindelwald’s marketing campaign and opening this fall of the latest installment in this J.K. Rowling’s franchise being flooded by headlines of Depp’s allegedly excessive spending habits and dwindling financial resources.
While the bloodletting between the actor and TMG is over now, the settlement in that matter does not, however, end the other litigation tidal waves that the Pirates of the Caribbean star is wading through. Depp still has to contend with a lawsuit from his ex-bodyguards who claim drug abuse and owed pay as well as a countersuit from his former longtime attorneyJacob Bloom and his. Claiming cahoots with TMG, the actor went after Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman LLP for $30 million last fall. They went right back after him a couple of months later as the actor seemed for a while to be shedding lawyers at an alarming rate
In addition, Depp’s legal dance card was hit last week with an assault and battery lawsuit from the location manager of the upcoming City of Lies.
So, let’s call it one down, a lot more to go when it comes to Johnny Depp and the courts right now.
In terms of the now-dimmed fraud lawsuit that started all this back in early 2017, representatives for TMG contacted by Deadline had no comment on the outcome of the Saturday and Sunday sit-down. Representatives for Depp did not respond to request for comment on the matter.