While the ex-high-profile couple’s defamation lawsuit may take them to Virginia, Johnny Depp appears to have put an end to the assault and battery case that was set to go to trial in the City of Angels. The parties have reached a settlement, it was announced on Monday, exactly two weeks before the trial Gregg “Rocky” Brooks, the former City of Lies location manager, had filed against Depp in 2018. Arbella Azizian, Brooks’ attorney, stated in a document filed in Los Angeles Superior Court that a sort of settlement had been reached.
No details were disclosed, and everything might yet fall through as is customary in such situations right before the deadline. It appears as though Depp is paying off Brooks to leave and have another lawsuit dismissed following weeks of negotiations between the parties, similar to what he did with his former business managers in 2018. The notice of settlement in the docket states, “The settlement agreement conditional dismissal of this issue on the satisfactory completion of specified terms that are not to be executed within 45 days of the date of the settlement.” By 1/5/2023, a request for dismissal must be submitted. A minute order from Judge Holly J. Fujie this morning further said, “Dismissal After Settlement is planned for 02/16/2023.”
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A trial with Brooks had potential train wreck written all over it for Depp because it came almost two months after the former 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 wrote about being “the public face of domestic abuse.” The Los Angeles trial for a 2017 late-night scuffle on the set of the movie about the Notorious B.I.G. murder was already expected to spark another media frenzy, dealing the former Oscar nominee a literal and metaphorical one-two blow. Camille Vasquez, who was just made a partner at Brown Rudnick for her outstanding performance in the Virginia trial, was slated to return as one of Depp’s attorneys in the City of Lies trial.
The lawsuit about the ultimately released City of Lies, which also stars Forest Whitaker and was directed by first co-defendant Brad Furman, alleges that an allegedly drunk Depp lost it on April 13, 2017, when Brooks told him that filming had to halt for the evening. Things went south for Brooks quickly when Depp came up; he was speaking to an off-duty LAPD cop on the set at the time. Furman had instructed him to deal with Depp. Depp allegedly slapped Brooks “twice in the bottom left side of his rib cage and causing pain” after yelling profanities at the set manager.
When Depp yelled that he would pay Brooks $100,000 to “hit me in the face right now,” his personal security team withdrew him from the situation and set him. On April 16, 2017, Brooks was given the option to promise not to sue the production as a result of the incident, but he declined. The pandemic delay caused the matter to languish in the LASC docket until last month as the trial date approached. If the resolution holds, everything might now become quite quiet. The latest development in the case prompted a reaction from Deadline today, but neither Depp’s nor Brooks’ representatives responded.