Camille Vasquez, Ben Chew to Rep Johnny Depp in Assault Case
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Camille Vasquez, Ben Chew to Represent Johnny Depp in Los Angeles Assault Trial

 

Actor Johnny Depp stands with his legal team Camille Vasquez, left, and Benjamin Chew in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 27, 2022.

A source close to Johnny Depp tells Law&Crime that attorneys Camille Vasquez and Ben Chew will return to court next month but this time in Los Angeles, California, as their star client defends himself against an allegation that he punched a crew member while shooting City of Lies in 2017.

Gregg “Rocky” Brooks filed suit against Depp in 2018 in Los Angeles County claiming Depp punched him on set. Brooks’ suit claims damages including assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, hostile work environment, wrongful termination and retaliation. Depp was named as a defendant along with his production company, Infinitum Nihil. Brad Furman and Good Film Productions were also named as defendants.

Brooks alleged in his complaint that Depp wanted a permit for filming at the Barclay Hotel in Los Angeles extended. Brooks claims a final extension was granted but that a final shot that evening outside of the hotel would have to be the last at 10:50 p.m. and Furman interjected, “why don’t you tell that to Johnny Depp!”

Brooks claimed he should never have been told to relay the information to Depp. After approaching an on-set LAPD officer to assist him in telling Depp about the restriction, he alleged, Depp accosted him and said: “Who the fuck are you? You have no right to tell me what to do!”

Brooks claimed he remained calm and professional and that Depp continued to yell at him and punched him “twice in the lower left side of the rib cage” causing pain. Brooks’ complaint alleged Depp yelled, “I will give you $100,000 to punch me in the face right now!” Brooks also claimed the Depp’s breath “reeked” of alcohol.

Brad Furman told ZE Leakers TV in a YouTube interview late last year, however, that the assault claim was “nonsense.”

“My experience with Johnny is he’s an absolute gem. He’s a wonderful, wonderful human being and he never punched anyone on set or anything like that,” he said of Depp. “That’s a bunch of nonsense there.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Emma Danoff filed a sworn declaration on behalf of Depp stating that it was Brooks who became verbally abusive that night toward a homeless African-American woman and that Depp stepped in to defend her. Danoff reportedly wrote in her declaration that Depp did not punch Brooks and that she had 40 time-stamped photos to prove Brooks lied about the encounter.

In a video deposition circulating online, Depp said he stepped in to remind Brooks his behavior was not proper set etiquette. Depp is expected to testify.

To date, cameras are not being allowed in the courtroom for the trial. The Law&Crime Network submitted a request to Los Angeles County Superior Court requesting permission to broadcast the trial. The request was denied.

The trial is scheduled to begin July 25.

Read the 2018 complaint below:

[Image via STEVE HELBER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

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Angenette Levy is a correspondent and host for the Law&Crime Network. Angenette has worked in newsrooms in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Cincinnati, Ohio. She has covered a number of high-profile criminal cases in both state and federal courts throughout her career including the trials of Steven Avery, Brooke “Skylar” Richardson and most recently the trials of Kyle Rittenhouse and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. She was nominated for an Emmy in 2015 for a story she covered in which she found a missing toddler who was the subject of an Amber Alert. Angenette is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati.