Johnny Depp, who seems to be courting a lot of controversy lately, is now being sued by two of his former bodyguards, who say the actor failed to pay their salaries or ensure safe working conditions.
According to ETOnline, Depp’s ex-bodyguards claim in a lawsuit that the 54-year-old was responsible for unpaid wages and overtime, wrongful termination, and unlawful business practices. The guards allege that they were "exposed to unsafe working conditions and essentially used as babysitters and chauffeurs for Depp, his children, and his entourage.”
Court documents filed yesterday by Eugene Arreola, a retired LAPD detective, and Miguel Sanchez, state that on several occasions they "were forced to protect Defendant Depp from himself and his vices while in public, becoming caretakers for him. An incident at a local nightclub involved the Plaintiffs alerting Depp of illegal substances visible on his face and person while preventing onlookers from seeing Depp's condition."
The guards had been originally provided by Premier Group International, but after Depp’s 2016 financial difficulties, the actor contracted them directly as part of his home security staff. Arreola and Sanchez allege that from May 2016 to January 2018 they received no overtime pay or meal breaks while working 12-hour shifts. They also accuse the Pirates of the Caribbean star of using them as "drivers," saying "we were asked repeatedly to drive vehicles that contained illegal substances, open containers, and minors."
"Sanchez, whose primary detail was the protection of Depp’s children, was more often than not the primary caretaker for Depp’s minor child, who lived off of Depp's compound in a separate home alone," the court documents state. "Worse yet, Sanchez was told to give into every whim of Depp’s children and worried he would lose his job if he did not comply with their demands."
The suit also notes that "As a result of the toxic and dangerous work environment and the constant labor code violations of their employers, Plaintiffs were forced to leave their employment despite the fact that they enjoyed many of the people they worked with and have no ill will toward Johnny Depp."
At one point, Leonard Damian, who worked as the head of Depp's security detail, accidentally shot himself in the leg. Sanchez, who was present at the time, was forced to drive him to the hospital.
In a 2017 lawsuit filed by Depp, the actor claims his business managers, who worked for The Mandel Company, swindled him out of $25 million dollars as a result of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, wrongful foreclosure and a breach of fiduciary duty, which caused him to lose “tens of millions of dollars” and “forced [him] to dispose of significant assets to pay for TMG's self-dealing and gross misconduct."
The Mandel Group responded, saying, "The lawsuit filed by Johnny Depp against his long-time business managers is a complete fabrication. For 30 years, Joel and Rob Mandel, and their company The Management Group, have been trusted business managers to some of the most successful individuals and companies in the entertainment business. For 17 of those years, they did everything possible to protect Depp from his irresponsible and profligate spending."