Johnny Depp is firing back at his former business managers, claiming their last line of defense is to discredit with him a smear campaign

By Mike Miller
March 28, 2017 06:35 PM
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Johnny Depp is firing back at his former business managers, claiming they’re trying to discredit him with a “smear” campaign.

Depp, 53, sued TMG in February for $25 million in a fraud lawsuit. TMG has since filed a cross-complaint, claiming the actor lived an “ultra-extravagant lifestyle that often knowingly cost Depp in excess of $2 million per month to maintain, which he simply could not afford.”

The actor’s lawyer Adam Waldman told PEOPLE on Monday that Depp’s former management company has “since shown that they have no viable defense other than to follow through on their stated plan to attempt to smear Mr. Depp.”

In a complaint filed Monday, and obtained by PEOPLE, Depp’s legal team also alleged to “have uncovered additional evidence of illegal conduct by TMG around bank loans.” According to the court documents, Depp’s lawyers claim that his former business manager at TMG “snuck self-serving provisions into a bank loan agreement in a scheme to grab millions of dollars in payments for himself and other advisors on Mr. Depp’s film residuals.”

Finally, Depp’s lawyer told PEOPLE, “Today we have shown definitively that TMG systematically failed to pay Mr. Depp’s taxes on time for 16 straight years, leading to at least $8.3 million in penalties for Mr. Depp according to the IRS and the law firm that TMG itself hired.”

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In response, a spokesperson for TMG told PEOPLE, “Johnny Depp’s amended complaint confirms there’s ‘no there there.’ Depp backs away from his most inflammatory claims in his original complaint and tries to fill the void by rehashing previous false allegations. TMG looks forward to setting the record straight and further exposing Depp’s persistent lies.”

Waldman countered in a statement to PEOPLE, saying that evidence supporting Depp has been redacted from the complaint at the request of TMG attorneys Joel and Robert Mandel. “In today’s filing, the only ‘there that isn’t there’ is the new evidence that the Mandels have gone to great lengths to temporarily seal from the public’s view.”

Outside of the case, Waldman said, “Mr. Depp is otherwise focused on his work, recently filming Murder on the Orient Express and LAbyrinth. He is looking forward to the release in May of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.”

A Depp insider added, telling PEOPLE, “Johnny is doing really great. He’s very happy. These days he’s mostly focused on his career. He’s got big films out later this year, and is working on LAnyrinth, all huge projects.”