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Johnny Depp’s Sister and Friends Dragged Into Dispute With Ex-Manager

Johnny Depp’s sister, his assistant, and several friends are being dragged into the actor’s bitter legal feud with his former management company.

Depp sued the Management Group (TMG) in January, alleging that the firm mismanaged his finances and made nearly $10 million in unauthorized loans. In an amended cross-complaint filed on Tuesday, TMG alleges that the loans were approved and that they went to Depp’s close associates.

TMG adds each of the members of Depp’s circle as cross-defendants, essentially arguing that if he wants repayment he should seek it from them.

“Depp’s closest friends, family, and colleagues who have been added as new Cross-Defendants in this action have only Depp to blame for their involvement in this charade,” the cross-complaint states.

According to the filing, Depp loaned his sister, Christi Dembrowski, $7.1 million over the course of 17 years. The suit states that Depp and Dembrowski agreed that she would be compensated through informal loans, that he has not asked her to return any of the money, and that she remains president of his production company, which recently entered a first-look deal with IM Global.

“It is absurd that Depp would trust his sister to oversee this important joint venture if he sincerely believed that she had actually accepted and signed for over $7 million in unauthorized payments,” the cross-complaint states.

The filing lays out several additional loans, all of which it states were initiated and approved by Depp: $199,000 to his nephew, Bill Rassel, to help buy a house in Kentucky; $737,000 to his assistant, Nathan Holmes, to buy and renovate a house in the United Kingdom; $412,000 to actor Jimmy Russo, to help him avoid foreclosure; $262,000 to tattoo artist Jonathan Shaw, to defend him from criminal weapons charges; and $237,000 to actor Sal Genco, to help him through a costly divorce.

The cross-complaint also names Depp’s closest childhood friend, Bruce Witkin, as a defendant. It alleges that Depp invested more than $4 million in a music label run by Witkin, which did not generate revenues, until TMG finally persuaded him to stop. Depp now alleges that he never authorized the investment, according to the filing.

TMG is seeking repayment of a $4.2 million loan to Depp, in addition to several hundred thousand dollars in unpaid fees. TMG commenced non-judicial foreclosure proceedings against one of Depp’s properties in 2016, which the company alleges caused Depp to concoct false allegations.

“Depp does not want to repay his debts to TMG. Depp’s objective in filing this action are transparent and designed to falsely stave off the foreclosure of Depp’s real properties in Los Angeles,” the cross-complaint states. “Depp should be ashamed of the ridiculous, false and baseless positions he is taking in this action.”

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