Johnny Depp Reaches Settlement In City Of Lies Assault Case Ahead Of LA Trial Start
Johnny Depp may find himself facing off again with Amber Heard in Virginia in the ex-couple’s big-bucks defamation battle, but he seems to have put an end to the assault and battery case about to go to trial in the City of Angels.
Two weeks to the day before the scheduled start of the trial brought against Depp by former City of Lies location manager Gregg “Rocky” Brooks in 2018, the parties have come to a deal, it was revealed Monday. In a filing in Los Angeles Superior Court, Brooks’ lawyer Arbella Azizian said a settlement had been reached, kind of.
No terms were made public, and the whole shabang could still be scuttled as can always happen up to the last minute in these things. However, after weeks of behind-the-scenes talks between the sides, it looks like Depp is paying off Brooks to go away and have another lawsuit disappear — much like he did with his ex-business managers in 2018.
“The settlement agreement conditions dismissal of this matter on the satisfactory completion of specified terms that are not to be performed within 45 days of the date of the settlement,” reads the notice of settlement in the docket. “A request for dismissal will be filed no later than 1/5/2023.”
“Dismissal After Settlement is scheduled for 02/16/2023,” added a minute order from Judge Holly J. Fujie this morning.
Coming almost two months after the ex-Pirates of the Caribbean actor was awarded more than $10 million in damages by a Virginia jury in his long-running defamation case against Heard over a Washington Post op-end she penned about being “the public face of domestic abuse,” a trial with Brooks had potential train wreck spray painted all over it for Depp. Literally and figuratively a one-two punch against the former Oscar nominee, the L.A. trial over a 2017 late-night altercation on the set of the film about the Notorious B.I.G. murder was already projected to create another media frenzy.
Recently named to partner at Brown Rudnick after her star turn at the Virginia trial, Camille Vasquez was set to make a sequel appearance as one of Depp’s lawyers in the City of Lies trial.
The suit over the eventually released City of Lies, which co-stars Forest Whitaker and was directed by initial co-defendant Brad Furman, claims an alleged booze-on-the-breath Depp flipped out when Brooks informed him on April 13, 2017 that production had to wrap for the night. Talking to an off-duty LAPD officer on set in the process after being told to deal with Depp by Furman, things went south fast for Brooks when Depp sauntered over. Supposedly screaming obscenities at the location manager, Depp then hit Brooks “twice in the lower left side of his rib cage and causing pain.”
Bellowing that he would pay Brooks $100,000 to “punch me in the face right now,’ Depp was removed from the scene and set by his personal security team. Asked in the aftermath to pledge not to sue the production for the incident, Brooks refused was pink-slipped on the spot on April 16, 2017.
Delayed by the pandemic, the case has been pretty dormant in the LASC docket up until last month as the trial date got closer. Now it may all go very quiet if the settlement sticks.
Reps for both Depp and Brooks did not reply to request for comment from Deadline today on the latest turn of evens in the matter.
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