Johnny Depp Teams Up with Lawyers Camille Vasquez, Ben Chew Again for Upcoming On-Set Assault Trial

Crew member Gregg Brooks accused Johnny Depp of punching him twice in the ribs on the set of City of Lies back in April 2017, which the actor denies

After representing Johnny Depp in the Amber Heard defamation trial, attorneys Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew will reunite with the actor to defend him in an on-set assault lawsuit.

Gregg Brooks, the location manager on one of Depp's movies City of Lies, accused the actor of punching him twice in the ribs after screaming at him on set in an alleged altercation on April 13, 2017. Brooks filed a civil complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court back in July 2018, and it's finally set to begin trial next month.

A source close to Depp, 59, tells PEOPLE he is enlisting both Vasquez and Chew again for his defense in this case.

Law & Crime Network reported that its request to have cameras in the L.A. courtroom have so far been denied, contrasting the live-streamed, highly publicized attention made on the six-week Depp v. Heard trial held in Fairfax County, Virginia.

That case ended with a verdict of the seven-person jury siding mostly with Depp, who was awarded more than $10 million in damages when they decided his ex-wife Heard, 36, defamed him in a 2018 op-ed. Heard — who intends to appeal the verdict — won one of her three defamation countersuit claims and was awarded $2 million in damages.

Heard maligned the verdict as a "setback" for women's rights, while Depp — who has long denied the actress' domestic violence allegations — said the "jury gave me my life back."

Brooks' attorney Pat Harris told The Sun that this upcoming case is not the same as Depp's recently concluded legal battle with Heard: "Brooks' case is not about two Hollywood celebrities involved in a toxic relationship. It is about the assault of a hard-working film crew member by the star of the production. Mr. Brooks looks forward to his day in court."

Johnny Depp (R) and his attorney Camille Vasquez (L) during a break in the 50 million US dollar Depp vs Heard defamation trial at the Fairfax County Circuit Court
Camille Vasquez and Johnny Depp. SHAWN THEW/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

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Back in August 2018, Depp, who has denied the on-set assault claim, filed a response in which he claimed he feared for his safety during the alleged incident. Brooks asked for damages in his lawsuit, but Depp denied owing him anything since he claims he was "provoked" by Brooks' "unlawful and wrongful conduct."

The actor's lawyer said in a statement at the time, "Despite false media reports suggesting otherwise, Johnny Depp never touched the person suing him, as over a dozen witnesses present will attest. In a court filing we have generally denied all claims and we will fight these latest sham allegations."

Ben Chew (L) and Camille Vasquez, attorneys for US actor Johnny Depp, address the media outside the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse
Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Brooks alleged that the actor became angry when Brooks told him they only had one more shot and allegedly punched him after screaming, "Who the f--- are you? You have no right to tell me what to do." The location manager claimed Depp continued screaming at him until he was eventually removed from set by his bodyguards. As a result of the alleged incident, Brooks said in the complaint that he "suffered pain, severe humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional and physical distress, and has been injured in mind and body."

After being put on hold amid the controversy, City of Lies, which also stars Forest Whitaker, was finally released in March 2021.

Vasquez, who became somewhat of a social media star among Depp fans during the Heard trial, recently told PEOPLE about the "intense" round-the-clock work their legal team did, admitting they were "running on fumes" at certain points.

"We worked with the most amazing group of young lawyers that are excellent and strategic and came into this case with different experiences and looked at this evidence in a really critical way," said Vasquez, who was promoted to partner at the Brown Rudnick law firm the week after the verdict.

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