Johnny Depp’s Lavish Spending Led Him to Brink of Financial Ruin, Ex-Managers Claim in Lawsuit

Johnny Depp's Lavish Spending Led to
Chelsea Lauren/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Johnny Depp spent $3 million to blast Hunter Thompson’s ashes out of a cannon. He spent $18 million on an 150-foot yacht. He spent $4 million on a failed record label. He spent $30,000 a month on wine, $200,000 a month on private planes, $150,000 a month on round-the-clock security, and $300,000 a month to maintain a staff of 40 people.

All of these expenses — contained in a blistering countersuit filed Tuesday by Depp’s ex-managers — led him to the brink of financial ruin, the suit alleges.

The suit comes in response to Depp’s own lawsuit on Jan. 13, which accused the Management Group (TMG) of defrauding him out of tens of millions of dollars. Depp alleged that TMG had mismanaged his finances, took out loans without his approval, and hidden the parlous state of his affairs from him.

Depp claimed that he only realized the gravity of the situation when TMG advised him to sell a large piece of property in France to pay his debts. He ultimately fired TMG and hired a new manager, at which point he alleged that the misconduct came to light.

However, TMG alleges in its countersuit that Depp was kept fully informed that he was spending more than he was taking in.

“Depp often responded by rebuking and cursing his business managers for issuing such warnings and advice, while increasing his extravagant lifestyle and spending, and demanding that his business managers find some way to pay for it all,” TMG alleges. “Depp, and Depp alone, is fully responsible for any financial turmoil he finds himself in today. He has refused to live within his means, despite the best efforts of TMG and the repeated warnings about his financial condition from TMG and his other advisors.”

TMG — led by Joel and Robert Mandel — also alleges that Depp still owes the company $4.2 million. The company has filed a non-judicial foreclosure proceeding on Depp’s home in an effort to recoup that debt. TMG claims Depp’s lawsuit was merely a means to forestall the foreclosure proceeding.

Adam Waldman, Depp’s personal attorney, issued this response to the countersuit: “How cataloguing alleged spending by Mr. Depp of his own money could somehow absolve the defendants of their large and multi-faceted mosaic of wrongdoing will ultimately be determined by the Court.”

News of the countersuit was first reported by Deadline.

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  1. seems to me he could sell some of that art collection at drastically more than he paid for them. the Basquiats alone in his collection should fetch millions considering the record the last one at the auction just broke.

  2. georgcantor6 says:

    Instead of spending a fortune buying wine, it’s a lot less expensive and more fun making your own wine. Dandelion wine is the best.

  3. Aria Ellis says:

    Well I guess TMG- Joel and Robert Mandel- will have a great many of their clients reconsidering retaining them as managers. Even if you were to assume they were innocent of any of the illegal actions, this countersuit and public exposure of Mr. Depp’s personal spending habits and purchases
    is not something the elite want bandied about for all to see. Here’s what happens if you find egregious fault with how these people treat your money.

    • Sct says:

      Why weren’t the papers sealed. It’s really the clients confidential info not under a decision to disclose.
      Another breach of contract.

  4. Jenna S says:

    I am not terribly enthralled with the judge assigned to this case. She’s very weak in “enforcing the law” and is very deferential to assertive lawyers representing authority figures. At this point, her involvement in the case is a negative for both sides.

    The problems the Mandels face is because they took an oath as members of the State Bar of California, which makes all statutes and case law governing lawyer conduct applicable to all of their activities and all activities of their employees who they are obligated to supervise. Among the laws over which the Mandels seeingly stumbled is:

    (1) Failing to have a written contract with their clients, Depp and each of his entities, and

    (2) Taking a deed of trust on Depp’s property to secure a loan made by the Mandels to Depp, without going through all of the formalities of making sure that Depp was represented by an independent lawyer in the transaction.

    Then there’s the problem of the Mandels using Depp’s money to invest in business entities controlled by the Mandels. You can’t tell much from Depp’s written Complaint as to what those business entities do. However, having one’s clients as co-investors with a lawyer has been a major trap into which many well-know Los Angeles law firms have fallen when the investment goes sour. One simply can’t tell from Depp’s Complaint whether those investments of Depp’s money by the Mandels have gone sour.

    The Mandel’s Cross-Complaint, quoted at length in this article and other publications as well, is page after page of vicious, unnecessary pettiness and whining, when the Cross-Complaint could have been simply written to say that Depp didn’t listen to their advice and that the Mandels claim Depp owes them $570,000 or so in management fees. Ultimately the Mandels will find that the level of viciousness in their Cross-Complaint is going to scare away other potential clients. Who would want to hire lawyer/accountant/business manager when they will splash an entertainer’s painful foibles all over the public record soon after an entertainer terminates the services of the Mandels?

    Back in late 2016 the Mandels filed a foreclosure notice against Johnny Depp’s home in West Hollywood, saying that they were automatically owned $4.6 Million, due immediately because Depp terminated their services. The Mandels would not have had to set foot in court to actually hold the foreclosure in early 2017 if Depp were an ordinary homeowner. Depp’s lawsuit filed in January 2017 is now the venue where Depp’s lawyers can TRY to get a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction to stop the foreclosure sale which the Mandels arranged through a local title company.

    I looked at the court file today and so far the necessary documents have not been filed by Depp’s lawyers to ask the judge to stop the foreclosure sale of Depp’s West Hollywood home. It’s conceivable that Depp’s lawyer and the Mandel’s lawyer could reach an agreement to cancel the foreclosure sale, but given the wording in the Mandel’s Cross-Complaint filed yesterday that agreement probably hasn’t been reached yet.

    If the Mandels insist on holding their foreclosure sale on Depp’s home, and the less-than-desirable judge refuses to issue an order stopping the foreclosure sale, Depp has to come up with about $5 Million in cash to pay the Mandels to stop the foreclosure, or file a “bankruptcy reorganization” which would both stop the Mandels foreclosure dead in its tracks as well as give Depp a new judge and significant advantages in unwinding all of the financial harm Depp alleges the Mandels caused him. So stay tuned and don’t be shocked by a bankruptcy because it’s the best venue for Depp if the Mandels are going to play hardball, which the Cross-Complaint posed by Variety shows they are disposed to do.

  5. Bill B. says:

    Depp is one of Hollywood’s crazies. Money & fame destroy many and he is among them.

    • Ben Davella says:

      Hollyweird strikes again. I hope they both lose. Depp not having a lawyer is on him, a fool and his money soon go separate ways. Think that’s in play here. No sympathy at all from me

  6. Jimmy Green says:

    The lawyers always make more money.

  7. FFC says:

    Key words here: TMG claims. You bet they have to hit back hard, including exposing Depp’s prized privacy since they’re probably hemorrhaging clients after Depp’s investigation exposed them. These moneychangers led him to believe everything was great, all the while allegedly self-dealing millions and loaning other millions of his money to 3rd parties without his knowledge orpermission. Then, after he fires them after 15 years of them essentially using him as their piggy bank, they have the nerve to try to foreclose on his home? Monsters!

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