In a complaint filed Tuesday, Depp alleges Bloom and his firm committed “professional malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment,” and as a result cost him millions of dollars.
“Johnny Depp’s lawsuit filed today reflects his continued stand against systemic, self-serving Hollywood practices that he hopes this lawsuit will expose and end,” said Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman.
Bloom and his firm have been handling Depp’s legal affairs since 1999.
In the lawsuit, Depp says the firm “engaged in misconduct for their own financial benefit” and “violated basic tenets” of a typical lawyer-client relationship. Bloom and his firm allegedly “improperly and negligently collected over $30,000,000 in voidable contingent fees” from Depp’s income over the years without a legally binding contract.
In addition, Depp also accuses Bloom and his firm of taking out a “hard money loan” with a high interest rate from a lender. He alleges that they then adjusted the terms of the loan for their own benefit.
“This loan cost Mr. Depp millions of dollars in unreasonable interest, fees, and voidable contingent fees, and was imposed on Mr. Depp without any of the protections that should have been afforded to a client when dealing with his attorney,” reads his complaint.
Depp says that Bloom took “additional payments for reimbursement” from him, without ever explaining what they were for. According to the actor, these payments amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Depp is also suing The Management Group (TMG), his former business managers, claiming that they also mismanaged his fortune, causing him to lose at least $25 million. The Pirates of the Caribbean star also alleges TMG failed to file his taxes by the deadline, forcing him to incur $5.7 million in late fees.
The $25-million case has been going on since Depp sued TMG in February.
Ultimately, Depp says, the duplicity of his business managers and lawyers have led to the near-complete depletion of the $650 million he’s made over the past 20 years. He says both Bloom and TMG resorted to a “fox guarding the hen house” strategy.
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TMG claims Depp consistently lies to the public and to authorities and relies on his “army of attorneys” to get him out of legal jams. While they don’t get into detail about these alleged incidents, the business managers say they plan on revealing everything at trial.
“Depp’s 45-page complaint against TMG, which is replete with demonstrably false and fraudulent allegations, was filed solely to avoid the non-judicial foreclosure of his properties,” wrote TMG lawyer Michael Kump. “And is just another example of Depp’s pattern of habitual lies and deception designed to avoid responsibility for his actions.”
Kump further suggested in June that Depp undergo some sort of mental-health evaluation because of his alleged erratic, unpredictable behaviour. All of Kump’s allegations were later thrown out by the judge, who said they were “extraneous, gratuitous and unresponsive to the case.”
Both the U.S. Department of Justice and the criminal division of the IRS have opened criminal investigations into Depp’s former business managers and TMG, and the SEC has opened a separate civil investigation into TMG. These criminal and civil investigations are reportedly focused on “fraud and money laundering.”
Depp has alleged no money laundering in his case against TMG.
As of this writing, there has been no comment from Bloom or any member of the law firm.