Hollywood actor Johnny Depp has settled a long-running legal dispute with his former lawyer over claims he had been swindled out of about $30 million (£23 million).
The Pirates Of The Caribbean star had sued Jake Bloom’s law firm Bloom Hergott, accusing him of wrongly collecting fees over the course of their 18-year working relationship and making a string of allegations including fraud and conflict of interest.
The case, which started in October 2017, was due to go to trial in December, but news emerged overnight that the claim has been settled with an eight-figure payment to Depp.
The actor’s lawyer Adam Waldman said in a statement: “Bloom Hergott provided Johnny Depp with an eight-figure payment to settle Mr Depp’s lawsuit against the firm for fraud, conflict of interest, disgorgement of over $30 million in voidable fees and other malfeasance that they engaged in over nearly two decades.”
Depp won a key victory in the legal fight in August last year, when a judge rejected Mr Bloom’s attempt to have the case dismissed. The judge then chastised the law firm for relying on a handshake with Depp rather than a formal written agreement setting out financial matters.
Bryan Freedman, the lawyer representing Bloom Hergott, said today the payout was a “fraction” of what the Hollywood star had been seeking. “While the firm was confident it would prevail at trial, we are nonetheless pleased with this resolution as it expedites the firm’s winding down process and allows it to get off the endless Johnny Depp litigation train,” he said.
Mr Bloom, who has represented stars including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nicolas Cage and Jason Statham, announced in May with business partner Alan Hergott that they were retiring.
Mr Depp remains locked in another bitter legal feud with his ex-wife Amber Heard, whom he is suing for defamation over her claims that she was the victim of domestic abuse during their marriage. Depp denies the allegations, made in a newspaper article.