Johnny Depp has avoided another stint on the courtroom stand.
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” alum reached a settlement Monday with a “City of Lies” crew member who alleged the actor assaulted him on the set of the film in 2017, documents obtained by USA TODAY Tuesday state.
Location manager Gregg “Rocky” Brooks and Depp were scheduled to begin trial on July 21.
Brooks alleged in a lawsuit that Depp punched him twice on the Los Angeles set of a movie about the killing of The Notorious BIG, and that he was fired from the production when he refused to promise not to sue over the incident.
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The details of their settlement have not been disclosed. USA TODAY has reached out to Depp and Brooks’ attorneys for comment.
Brooks also sued the film’s director and producers for unspecified damages in the lawsuit filed in July 2018.
“City of Lies,” a crime film based on the book “LAbyrinth” by Randall Sullivan, starred Depp and Forest Whitaker in a modern whodunnit surrounding the murder mystery investigation of rappers Tupac Shakur and The Notorious BIG Depp plays the role of Los Angeles Police Department detective Russell Poole, who is trying to figure out the truth behind these high-profile murders.
Brooks pained that in April 2017, when the film was shooting in and around the Barclay Hotel in downtown LA, he informed director Brad Furman that an upcoming take featuring Depp would have to be the last outdoor shot of the night because of legal permits.
Johnny Depp sued: Crew member alleges star punched him twice
The lawsuit said Furman forced Brooks to go beyond his duties and tell Depp himself that shooting had to end. Brooks said he was seeking out the off-duty sheriff’s deputy serving as set security when Depp found him first.
Brooks said Depp smelled of alcohol and appeared intoxicated as he shouted obscenities and then “angrily and forcefully” punched Brooks twice in the rib cage.
Depp then yelled “I will give you $100,000 to punch me in the face right now!” at Brooks when he showed little reaction, according to the lawsuit, before the actor’s bodyguards pulled him away.
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Brooks said he returned to work the following Monday and was asked by a producer to write and sign a declaration saying he wouldn’t sue over the incident. Brooks said he was fired on the spot when he refused.
Brooks suffered humiliation, wrongful termination and physical and mental pain from the incident, the lawsuit said. The filmmakers should have known that Depp was using alcohol and drugs and was a threat to the well-being of others on the set, his lawyer argued.
The film was originally set to premiere in 2018, but was delayed after Depp’s legal melee with both ex-wife Amber Heard and a UK tabloid. The movie was released in March 2021 and critics either thought it was worth the wait or a waste of time.
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The Hollywood Reporter’s John DeFore thought “City of Lies” deserved more attention from the public because of the big picture issues it brings to light, despite the problems Depp faced in his private life. He mentioned how the film brought real-life concerns to how murders of Black victims deny justice by going unsolved.
“A viewer would have to be pretty complacent (or know a lot more about the case than this film explains) not to leave ‘Lies’ feeling that the Wallace case is a shameful — and still fixable, to some extent — example of justice denied ,” DeFore wrote. “And if truth can be swept under the rug in such a high-profile murder, what about killings of people nobody knows?”
Deadline’s Pete Hammond agreed with DeFore on the film being worth the wait, but only from a performance standpoint.
“‘City of Lies’ is worth seeing not only for a measured and unaffected turn by Depp as Russell Poole,” Hammond wrote. “But also for Whitaker’s understated and well-pitched portrayal of a journalist trying to escape his own checkered past by also getting to the bottom of what really happened.”
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However, some critics couldn’t get over Depp’s private issues to fully appreciate his role as Poole.
“It’s one of the few post-Jack Sparrow performances that makes you mourn what the back nine of Depp’s career might have given us if not for his method-worthy commitment to public disgrace,” David Ehrlich of IndieWire wrote.
And as for other critics, the movie was just sad … and confusing.
The New York Times’ Jeannette Catsoulis called the movie “misbegotten mush.”
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“‘City of Lies’ has an underlying, unexpected poignancy. The look is grimy and the atmosphere is grim; but what could have been a moody character study or a taut conspiracy thriller is instead a dreary procedural, a misbegotten mush of flashbacks, voice -overs and dead ends,” Catsoulis writes.
Contributing: Naledi Ushe, Elise Brisco, USA TODAY; Andrew Dalton, The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Johnny Depp settles ‘City of Lies’ crew member assault case from 2018