Two former members of Johnny Depp’s in-house security team have filed a lawsuit against the famous actor, claiming unpaid wages and overtime. The damages sought by the two plaintiffs are so far unspecified.
According to Page Six, the star of the acclaimed Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is being sued by retired LAPD detective Eugene Arreola and Miguel Sanchez, who filed a civil suit in California superior court on May 1.
Arreola and Sanchez allege in court that the actor, who is reportedly notorious for his lavish spending as well as his hard-partying lifestyle, failed to cover their paychecks starting from 2016, “overtime and rest pay” included.
Furthermore, Depp’s former bodyguards claim that from 2016 to 2018, while they were working directly for the actor, they didn’t receive overtime nor were they given “meal and rest breaks as mandated by law.”
The suit claims that Arreola and Sanchez protected Depp since 2007 while working for the private firm Premier Group International, which provided security for the actor, notes The Blast. However, in 2016, the two were hired as part of the actor’s in-house security team.
Yet, despite being hired as employees, Arreola and Sanchez allege they were “misclassified as independent contractors.”
Johnny Depp is being sued by two former bodyguards who claim he constantly exposed them to “unsafe conditions” and “illegal substances” that became so bad they were forced to quit. https://t.co/5u9ug9ltT2— The Blast (@TheBlastNews) May 1, 2018
“In early 2016 Plaintiffs began to notice a stark change in Depp and the atmosphere on his Hollywood Hills compound. Depp began making sudden and drastic changes to his staff and management team, causing a significant financial crunch for everyone surrounding Depp, except for Depp himself,” state the court papers.
In the suit, Arreola and Sanchez show that they accepted the in-house job and went along with the situation out of loyalty for Depp and the members of his family.
“Plaintiffs were loyal to Depp and his family and understanding of the financial hurricane Depp was in.”
Aside from the problem of unpaid wages, Depp’s ex-bodyguards allege the star constantly exposed them to “illegal substances” and “unsafe conditions” while they were under his employment.
Depp’s former bodyguards claim in the suit that they “found themselves in situations that required more than what a bodyguard would be expected to do.” They exemplify by showing that they mostly performed chauffeuring and babysitting duties for the star’s family.
Security guards sue Johnny Depp for unpaid wages, dangerous conditions - Page Six https://t.co/41EDuFI5sF— Johnny Depp Watch (@JohnnyDeppWatch) May 1, 2018
They also claim they were “asked repeatedly to drive vehicles that contained illegal substances” and “were asked to monitor unstable individuals in life and entourage,” reveal the court papers.
The two plaintiffs back up their claims by detailing a nightclub episode in which they had to alert Depp to the presence of illegal substances on his face. In addition, they were compelled to keep club-goers from noticing the state the actor was in.
Moreover, Arreola and Sanchez allege they possess documents showing they were “were forced to protect Depp from himself” because of the star’s extravagant behavior.
Arreola and Sanchez state that all these labor code violations eventually forced them to quit their job as Depp’s bodyguards.
“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,” conclude the court papers.