Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

Johnny Depp Files Malpractice Lawsuit Against 'Self-Dealing' Attorneys

In January of this year, Johnny Depp sued his former management company, claiming employees of the Management Group raked in tens of millions of dollars while not only failing to provide the most basic services but also mismanaging his finances to boot. This week, Depp took aim at his former legal counsel, claiming attorneys at Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman "engaged in self-dealing and pursued and undertook transactions in the face of undisclosed conflicts of interest for their own financial benefit over that of their clients."

Depp is seeking at least $30 million from the firm for malpractice. Considering Depp is one of the highest earning actors in Hollywood, it's fair to wonder where all the money went, and who's to blame.

Sharks of the Caribbean

"Like many successful artists who depend upon professionals to advise them," Depp's complaint states, "Mr. Depp trusted and reasonably relied on defendants, as his attorneys, to handle his legal affairs competently and ethically. But instead of protecting Mr. Depp's interests, defendants engaged in misconduct for their own financial benefit and violated some of the most basic tenets of the attorney-client relationship, all to Mr. Depp's serious financial detriment."

The lawsuit specifically points to a "hard money" loan that is allegedly cutting into Depp's share of the proceeds from six films, all while providing his business manager and lawyer with "immediate priority to millions of dollars of voidable contingency fees tied to the success of Mr. Depp's film residuals," all before the actor made a dime.

Mismanaged Millions

Depp points to Bloom's law firm and TMG for squandering his fortune. In addition, The Wall Street Journal reported the U.S. Department of Justice, IRS and even SEC were looking into possible fraud, money laundering, and mismanagement at TMG.

But the agency didn't take the allegations lying down. TMG claims Depp ignored warnings regarding his lavish, $2-million-a-month lifestyle and over-the-top purchases including, according to Bloomberg, "a 45-acre chateau in the South of France, a chain of islands in the Bahamas, a 150-foot (46-meter) luxury yacht, art works by Andy Warhol and Gustav Klimt, 70 collectible guitars, 40 full-time employees around the world and a specially made cannon that he used to blast the ashes of Hunter Thompson over Aspen, Colorado."

If Johnny Depp truly is broke, it seems as though there's more than enough blame to go around.

Related Resources: