Johnny Depp has filed a $25m+ lawsuit against his former business managers for an alleged mismanagement of funds.
The indictment was brought to court on Friday after he said former managers squandered earnings from his most productive acting period.
Depp reportedly severed ties with The Management Group in 2016, and hired a new team of managers who discovered some serious financial breaches. The company claims his spending habits should take the blame instead.
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that the actor’s complaint was filed in L.A. County Superior Court last Friday. He’s suing the company and its attorneys for what he called “negligence, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty”, among other claims.
TMG, an abbreviation for The Management Group, was in charge of Depp’s business, tax, legal and accounting – as advisers between 1999 to 2016.
During their time in charge of the actor’s career, TMG allegedly accumulated over $28 million from the 53-year-old as “contingent fees” although he claims never to have given consent for those withdrawals.
Matthew Kanny, an attorney for Depp, said in the filed complaint: “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.”
Kanny continued: “TMG actively concealed the true state of Mr. Depp’s finances while driving him deeper and deeper into financial distress.”
Depp’s lawsuit claims TMG skipped tax payments, issued unauthorized loans, and inflated prices for security services among other claims.
An attorney for The Management Group, Michael J. Kump, says the allegations from Depp are fabricated lies. He claims the actor never admitted any breach of contracts while the agreement lasted, adding that the company responsibly carried out their duties.
Kump says TMG did all it could to protect Depp from his excessive spending habit.
Media reports say Depp hired the Mandels in 1999 but their agreement wasn’t on a written contract.
However, the company has received 5% of the actor’s earnings from blockbuster movies such as the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise and other major releases which include “Alice in Wonderland” as well as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005).”
The lawsuit against TMG states that it failed to present Depp’s tax returns on time – a shortcoming which cost him about $5.7 million in penalties.
His divorce from ex-wife Amber Heard has been finalized after the actor was ordered to pay her $7 million in installments.
Amber said she has earmarked the funds for two charities.
Depp’s lawsuit against TMG was filed on the same day his divorce financial settlement was concluded.