11:39am PT by Eriq Gardner
Johnny Depp Settles Blockbuster Lawsuit Against Business Managers
About a month away from a trial that would have captivated the entertainment industry, Johnny Depp has settled his blockbuster lawsuit against his former business managers. The deal was made Saturday at a mediation session, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Depp filed his $25 million fraud case against The Management Company at the beginning of 2017. He alleged being the victim of gross misconduct and that the firm — run by Joel and Robert Mandell, and which had represented him for 17 years — had failed to file or pay his taxes on time, failed to keep proper books, loaned money to third parties without authorization and was self-dealing by investing his money in business ventures in which the firm's partners had ownership stakes. Depp was looking to recover commissions.
But that was only his side of the story.
According to the Mandels, who brought counterclaims, the firm repeatedly warned and advised Depp to reduce his spending and sell unnecessary assets. They charged Depp with living an "ultraextravagant lifestyle that knowingly cost Depp in excess of $2 million per month to maintain, which he simply could not afford."
Depp's alleged spending — $30,000 a month for wine, $500,000 in rental fees for storage warehouses that held his Hollywood collectibles, $200,000 for a private jet, and on and on — all became fodder in the lawsuit. The detailed spending also fueled many stories telling how he blew an estimated $650 million fortune. (Depp is also in the midst of a legal battle with his former transactional attorney, Jake Bloom.)
The trial was quickly advancing with an Aug. 15 date that the judge refused to move back any further. The mediation session represented the parties' last shot at coming to a deal, and both sides were probably motivated to avoid any embarrassing secrets that would come out in open court.
Then again, Depp and his lawyer recently told Rolling Stone that this lawsuit would change Hollywood forever.
Instead, with no word on the terms of the settlement and dismissal papers forthcoming, it will end quietly, if certainly memorably.