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Let’s practise reading gossip.

How much can we throw in the bull bin from the TMG Johnny Depp and his friends -part of the dispute

Johnny Depp

Photo: Wikimedia Sodakan

My own initial, spontaneous thought was: OMG Johnny Depp is insane making a complaint about these loans, CLEARLY, these are his own doing. Have I missed something, this does not sound like him at all!

I missed a few things in the first reading.

The article first says Johnny Depp is suing TMG over nearly 10 million dollars of unauthorized payments to friends and family members. The article lists a bunch of loans that Depp approved. This includes the 7.1 million he has given to his sister Christi. The article mentions that this money has never been asked to be paid back as it is likely “an informal form of a loan to compensate her” but what kind of a loan is given out as “a compensation”? This is more likely a salary for managing his production company. It’s just there to make it seem that the millions Depp is missing is his own doing.

Not in dispute

So this 7.1 million is NOT at dispute, but it has been mentioned in the claim because this is an accounting dispute. All of his spendings would be outlined in it, “approved or not approved”, these are clearly on the list of “approved”. It was mentioned in the article because it’s a lot of money, we already know his sister was involved somehow, it’s true, and there is nothing about it that would make TMG look bad. TMG wants to run with the idea that Depp has a spending problem.


EVERYTHING he’s paid for would be “outlined” in the claim, including cups of coffee he’s bought at Starbucks. (I assume he has spent a dollar or two at Starbucks in his time, this is not knowledge. 😉 ) From Starbucks to wine cellar fillers, and Kardashian couches. Now these articles simply pick out whatever to make a truthful statement that gives a false impression.

“Additional loans”

They list:

“The filing lays out several additional loans, all of which it states were initiated and approved by Depp: US$199,000 to his nephew, Bill Rassel, to help buy a house in Kentucky; US$737,000 to his assistant, Nathan Holmes, to buy and renovate a house in the United Kingdom; US$412,000 to actor Jimmy Russo, to help him avoid foreclosure; US$262,000 to tattoo artist Jonathan Shaw, to defend him from criminal weapons charges; and US$237,000 to actor Sal Genco, to help him through a costly divorce.”

Additional loans. Additional to what? What he paid to Christi wasn’t a loan. He doesn’t expect to be paid back, or ask to be, says the article. So additional loans to what? The stuff that actually IS the real reason for the claim.

What is in dispute is probably another list of loans entirely

In the article, it clearly says Mr. Johnny Depp actually approved THESE loans but it lets you think that he now claims otherwise because the man is insane! The more likely scenario is that these loans are NOT in dispute at all, the same as the money paid to his sister, but are mentioned simply in the accounting. The article simply says that these loans are outlined in the filing, which they would be even if Depp had no issue with them, as this is an accounting dispute.

If you’ve ever had to give anyone your bank statements for ANYTHING similar, like to help your accountant filing for taxes, you go through each line and you either mark it OK, “business expenses”, “personal expenses” etc, until you get to the bottom line. So these loans are marked “approved by Depp”, but they are still included in the filing. This is important to determine how much money is missing and how much he actually spent himself. Otherwise, he could just come up with a number at the top of his hat, make a lot of noise and finger-pointing and the judge would rule by which party shouts the  loudest. If that was the case, TMG clearly would win this one.

There is a mention of an actual “defendant”

Only NOW we are getting into the hot waters, and this is also interesting: “The cross-complaint also names Depp’s closest childhood friend, Bruce Witkin, as a defendant.” So this actually says Witkin has been mentioned as a DEFENDANT, which is not what they say about those other loans at all. They are approved, but Witkin is a defendant. So Johnny Depp has INVESTED over 4 million dollars into Witkin’s business, and Witkins hasn’t paid him back. Investment means Depp is supposed to be paid back with an interest, and clearly, he probably should have stopped supporting Witkin a lot earlier than what he did, but he did not.

TMG points out that they “convinced” Depp to stop paying him (because they are heroes) and they probably did, even if they had been proper managers, they might have wanted to wake him up to this spending when the first million was being crossed!

Now… The interesting thing is:

In another article, Janine Rayburn claims that TMG’s principals Joel and Robert Mandel are afraid of Depp’s sister Christi. Bruce Witkin is Johnny’s closest childhood friend, so we’ll assume Christi also knew him well. This would have meant that it is possible Christi authorized those payments on behalf of Johnny, assuming, and taking it for granted that Johnny would have accepted.

So, let’s count the numbers

The numbers here, by the way… 7.1 to Christi, over 4 million to Bruce, tally up to OVER 10 million alone, not NEARLY 10 million that was missing. The article itemizes the additional loans listed above that tally up to 1.8 million dollars. In total, the numbers mentioned in the article would go up to 12.9 million dollars.

That goes cheerfully over the “nearly 10 million” Johnny Depp sued TMG for. Taking off what he’s paid to Christi, that he didn’t wish to be paid back, we go way below the “near 10 million” mentioned, (even though it is up for a debate if 5.8 million can be called “near 10”). Most likely the only sum actually in debate is the 4 million paid to Witkin as an investment, plus a whole heap of loans TMG doesn’t wish to make public, and therefore won’t mention in their own press release.

How gossip and missleading press releases are written

Gossip is based on the truth, otherwise, the people written about could sue the publishers for everything they’re worth. The articles must be TECHNICALLY true or so blatantly false that it is reasonable to assume people know it to be “for entertainment purposes only”. That’s why they state “undisputed by Johnny Depp” but simply by mentioning it in a Depp-negative article it makes you think he now says he didn’t approve them. As the tone is negative, people jump into conclusions.

This is simple gossip writing in order to make it misleading enough at one glance, but clear enough for anyone who gives it a second look: “Well if you would have looked properly, we never claimed…” If anyone would ask, they’d say they listed these numbers to point out how lavish Depp is about his money and “solely responsible for his financial troubles” as they keep saying, NOT to detail the loans in dispute. Calling Depp “lavish” has been their only defence so far.

Johnny Depp doesn’t want to pay :'(((

Then, they go into a childish comment about how “Johnny Depp doesn’t want to pay what he owes TMG for…” Yeah, clearly not, they are in the middle of a legal dispute! If and when Depp wins this case the 4.1 million he owes them is going to be taken out of whatever TMG is going to be ordered to pay Depp in compensation for mismanagement. He’ll pay when the court gives him the number. Until then, TMG is going to be crying about it like there’s something unusual or bratty about Little Johnny not paying MORE money to people who are already screwing him over.

More about Johnny Depp

I can’t get enough of this guy, and I’ve started enjoying reading gossip only because of him. What I learn is much more about the people surrounding him than the man himself, but… One thing that gossip sites do, is quote another website that says something dubious about people. Publishers cannot be held liable for repeating what another website is publishing, because they are simply stating what someone else has said. This spreads rumors, and those rumors, read a few times over in different websites start to sound true all of the sudden.

The truth about matters is usually quite boring compared to what the gossip websites would have us believe. People rarely lie about anything blatantly, even if they’re accusing someone else or defending themselves, but they’ll tell partial truths. For example, saying “Johnny Depp gave Amber heard her bruise” would be, probably true, even if the actual truthful sentence would finish: “during a session of rough, consensual sex.” Now, I am suggesting something to you, right? I made a suggestion, but in 2 weeks time, you forget the format it was written in and you’ll repeat it as the truth. (Unless you pay proper attention.) Also, I could say I am the smartest woman alive today… (Get it?)[/sociallocker]

I’ve written about Johnny Depp’s dispute with TMG before, too.

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2 Posts on "Let’s practise reading gossip."

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Some good reasoning.The bottom line is Depp is a decent man who was taken advantage of by many, including these scoundrels, TMG, and his gold digging ex wife.


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