(UPDATED with statement from Depp lawyer) Johnny Depp’s $30 million legal standoff with his ex-lawyer just netted former Warner Bros boss Kevin Tsujihara, Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard and some of Hollywood’s top attorneys.
With a September trial date on the calendar between the Pirates of the Caribbean star and his former attorney of two decades, Tsujihara and Heard are being served deposition notices in the skirmish with Jacob Bloom and his firm, we can confirm.
The lawyers representing the lawyers also gave or are in the process of giving notice on lawyers Marty Singer, Patricia Glaser, Blair Berk, Heard’s and Depp’s respective divorce attorneys and the actress’ ex-boyfriend Elon Musk, among several others.
Besides sheer shock and awe value, the point of the swath of notices Wednesday is that Depp has claimed that some of the bad advice he says Bloom gave him had to do with his messy split with Heard in 2016.
Depp also is said to have tried to convince Tsujihara to have Heard cut from Warner Bros films — an effort that was clearly unsuccessful as she has become a part of the DC Comics-based universe in such pics as Justice League and of course more recently Aquaman.
Tsujihara resigned from his post on March 18 in the wake of misconduct allegations against him that the AT&T-owned studio was investigating for a third time.
Depp scored a win last summer after Los Angelese Superior Court Judge Terry Green sent a shockwave through Hollywood when he declared invalid the lucrative oral contingency agreement actor had with Bloom’s firm. The convoluted matter started back in October 2017 as a spinoff of Depp’s now-settled $25 million January 2017 lawsuit against TMG, his former business managers.
The wave of deposition notices to possible witness comes ahead of a status hearing in Los Angeles on Wednesday over the more than year-long battle between the actor and his former attorneys at Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman LLP. The move by Bryan Freedman and other lawyers on the Bloom side follows a response last week by Heard demanding that the $50 million defamation suit Depp hit her with last month be tossed out of court in Virginia.
Representatives for both the Bloom firm did not respond to request for comment on this latest move in a case that has proved full of legal shimmy, to put it mildly.
However, Depp’s main attorney Adam Waldman had a lot to say about the notices, their likely intent and both the Bloom and Heard cases.
“Bloom Hergott bewilderingly claims that they have been accused of malpractice relating to Amber Heard and her already disproven abuse hoax,” the D.C.-based lawyer told Deadline today. “We are suing Amber Heard for defamation following her hoax, and also the Sun tabloid for rebroadcasting it, not Bloom Hergott.”
To remind Bloom Hergott, Mr. Depp is suing them for breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, swiping Mr. Depp’s back end payments, taking over $30 million without a written contract and tax and other legal malpractice,” Waldman mocked the other side. ”
“What evidence could Elon Musk and Kevin Tsujihara possibly possess to do with that?”
“Now Bloom Hergott will have to convince the Court that Elon Musk, Amber Heard and an ex Studio Chief have relevant information for their defense, versus merely issuing famous subpoenas in a last ditch effort to divert attention and stall their looming day of reckoning.”
Reckon that says it all from that side of the battle.