American actor Johnny Depp is due to meet his former business manager in a Los Angeles courtroom today.
The 54-year-old Pirates of the Caribbean star is seeking $25m in damages from The Management Group (TMG) for negligence and mismanagement.
He accuses the company of failing to pay his taxes on time and taking out loans without his approval, as part of a wider effort to defraud him.
Before Depp fired TMG last year, the company was tasked with managing almost every aspect of his personal and business life from 2001 onwards.
Michael Kump, an attorney for TMG told Bloomberg:
During the 17-year period they represented him, TMG was part of a team of advisers who acted in the very best interests of Depp and helped propel him to superstardom. The idea that Depp would have been better off without TMG is bizarre.
The Beverly Hills-based operation was paid 5 percent of the actor’s gross income, amounting to about $28m over 17 years.
TMG denies allegations of misconduct, insisting that the actor received a series of warnings that his $2m worth of spending every month, including $30,000 just for wine, was unsustainable.
Depp allegedly forked out $18m on an 150-foot yacht, and wasted $4m on a failed record label.
The company said in a court filing:
When Depp was confronted by TMG or any of his other advisers about his spending, he most often engaged in profanity-laced tirades where he abused the professionals surrounding him and claimed that he would work harder to afford whatever new item he wanted to purchase.
The management company added that the motivation for Depp’s lawsuit was because he disagreed with TMG’s decision to foreclose on his Los Angeles property.