Who is Michael Spindler? Forensic accountant claims Johnny Depp lost $40M after Amber Heard op-ed

Spindler testified that one of the key reasons for Depp's estimate was the actor’s dismissal from the sixth 'Pirates of the Caribbean' film


                            Who is Michael Spindler? Forensic accountant claims Johnny Depp lost $40M after Amber Heard op-ed
(L-R) Michael Spindler, a forensic accountant, testified in Johnny Depp & Amber Heard's defamation trial. (Photo by Michael Spindler/LinkedIn & Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
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On Tuesday, May 3, A forensic accountant testified, just before Johnny Depp's legal team rested their case, that Johnny Depp lost $40 million after the release of Amber Heard's op-ed in The Washington Post. 

Forensic accountant Michael Spindler testified in court that he was entrusted with assessing Depp's lost revenues in this case. He claimed to have analyzed the period between Heard's op-ed being published on December 18, 2018, and October 31, 2020. He said, “I concluded that Mr. Depp suffered lost earnings of approximately $40m.” One of the key reasons for Depp's estimate, according to Spindler, was the actor’s dismissal from the sixth 'Pirates of the Caribbean' film.

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Earlier, on Monday, May 2, talent agent Jack Whigham testified that the picture had a $22.5 million agreement with Johnny Depp and he had not lost any film roles as a result of Amber Heard's op-ed. However, according to Spindler, Depp's bookings in 2017 were approximately $17.5 million and they used that sum as a baseline for a typical year for the actor. According to Spindler, the loss of the sixth Pirates role amounted to $20,250,000 in lost earnings, based on the $22.5 million salaries minus the agent's pay. Spindler claims that using the $17.5 million as a baseline, he calculated that Depp lost $20,068,237 on other projects over the course of a year, for a total loss of $40,318,237.

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According to the BTG Global Advisory, Michael Spindler an alumnus of the State University of New York at Albany works as a Senior Managing Director at B. Riley Advisory Services of Los Angeles, United States. He is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified in Financial Forensics, Certified Fraud Examiner, and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist. Spindler also worked with Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, Capstone Advisory Group, and multiple other firms.

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Michael Spindler is having over 40 years of experience in complex disputes, including forensic accounting and company fraud investigations in a wide range of industries. He has testified as an expert witness in a number of bench trials, jury trials, and arbitration hearings. He has provided Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations and training services in various countries around the world, including China, Russia, India, and Saudi Arabia.

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Amber Heard and Johnny Depp attend the "Black Mass" Virgin Atlantic Gala screening during the BFI London Film Festival, at Odeon Leicester Square on October 11, 2015, in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

 

Following Depp's lawsuit against his ex-wife in March 2019, the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard began on Monday, April 11 in Fairfax, Virginia. Depp claims she defamed him in an op-ed in The Washington Post in December 2018 titled ‘I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.’ Despite the fact that Depp was not named in the article, his legal team claims that it bears a clear suggestion that he is a domestic abuser, which they claim is categorically and demonstrably incorrect.  The ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star is now seeking not less than $50 million in damages. Heard on the other hand has also filed a $100 million lawsuit for nuisance and immunity from Depp's charges.

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