Alleged domestic abuser Johnny “full of decency” Depp is being sued for punching a crewmember on the set of his upcoming film, City of Lies. This will surely come as a shock to Depp defenders—like Doug Stanhope and Terry Gilliam—who are likely working diligently on a way to blame Amber Heard.
According to Variety, Gregg “Rocky” Brooks is suing Depp for punching him twice in the ribcage because he tried to do his job as locations manager. On April 13, 2017, City of Lies (then titled LAbyrinth) was shooting on location and their permitted time was nearly up. So Brooks told director Brad Furman that the shoot would have to end. According to Brooks, Furman responded, “Why don’t you tell that to Johnny Depp?”
Depp had decided this sequence needed more attention and was reportedly directing “a longer version of the scene with two friends.” Furman, seemingly having no control of his star, put Brooks in an unenviable position of having to give bad news to an actor who is notoriously difficult on set. So Brooks decided he’d approach Depp only after getting an on-set police officer to assist him. But on his way to find an officer, Depp accosted the locations manager, yelling, “Who the fuck are you? You have no right to tell me what to do!”
Brooks says he tried to explain his position and the permits situation, but Depp allegedly responded, “I don’t give a fuck who you are and you can’t tell me what to do!” Then punched Brooks twice in the ribs. Per Brooks’ lawsuit (via Deadline): “Despite having just been punched in the side, PLAINTIFF maintained his composure. When PLAINTIFF did not react to DEPP’s satisfaction after being punched, DEPP yelled “I WILL GIVE YOU ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS TO PUNCH ME IN THE FACE RIGHT NOW!” PLAINTIFF still did not react and DEPP continued to scream and berate him in front of a set full of people until DEPP’s own bodyguards physically removed DEPP from the scene.”
THR reports Brooks says he was fired from the production when he refused to sign paperwork that would prevent him from suing over the incident. He declares the filmmakers knew “Depp was using alcohol and drugs and was a threat to the well-being of others on the set.” As such, he’s suing over “humiliation, wrongful termination and physical and mental pain from the incident.”
Furman has not yet responded to Brooks’ lawsuit. However, last May, when rumblings of this story first surfaced, Fruman told US Weekly:
“Johnny Depp is a consummate professional, great collaborator and a supporter of other artists. He always treats the crew and people around him with the utmost respect. Movies can be stressful, and nonevents often become exaggerated. We all love stories — there isn’t one here.”
Meanwhile, Depp is doing fine. Following Sherlock Gnomes, he has four other films hitting theaters in 2018: City of Lies, London Fields, Richard Says Goodbye, and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.