Los Angeles: Hollywood star Johnny Depp has accused his former managers of costing him more than USD 6 million in tax penalties and fines as part of their ongoing legal battle.
The "Pirates of the Caribbean" star sued bosses at The Management Group (TMG) for fraud last month, alleging they mishandled his finances by collecting USD 28 million in fees he never agreed to, repeatedly failing to file his taxes in a timely manner, and loaning roughly USD 10 million of his money without being authorised to do so.
TMG heads Joel and Robert Mandel fired back with their own complaint, blaming the 53-year-old actor's tendency to live beyond his means for his money issues. Depp's lawyer has now filed new papers in the dispute in a bid to have the countersuit dismissed.
In the documents, the actor provides a string of receipts from America's Internal Revenue Service (IRS) detailing the tax troubles he found himself in from 2000 to 2015 as a result of TMG's alleged "negligence and misconduct".
According to TMZ, the actor also had to deal with a costly mistake they reportedly made on his California state taxes. He has since settled all the IRS bills, but maintains he wouldn't have fallen foul of tax authorities if TMG representatives had done their jobs in the first place.
After TMG bosses filed their countersuit, Depp's attorney Adam Waldman wasted no time in hitting back, accusing the fired managers of using the actor's worldwide fame to their advantage by attempting to turn the public against him.
"(TMG) have chosen to employ a reprehensible 'blame the victim' strategy in a transparent attempt to save their own skin and deflect away from their malfeasance, which is chronicled in Mr. Depp's 48 page complaint," Waldman wrote in a statement to People.
"Mr. Depp did not sue his former business managers for his own personal investment decisions or the 'financial distress' they wildly allege - Mr. Depp sued them for fraud and multiple breaches of their fiduciary duty, among other claims.
Gaslighting the public with global press releases will not save the defendants in court from their gross misconduct set forth in the complaint."