The Art of a Prenup

13 Jun

While most people are shocked there was no prenup between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, and they say something like, “Johnny, why didn’t you protect your ass….etts with a prenup!” i’m looking at it differently.


Call it a different perspective, or thinking outside the box, but Johnny Depp is an extremely smart man.

General prenups for people who are not super celebrities, the prenup may be used to protect one spouses business interests, responsibilities, etc. from the other spouse in the event of a divorce. This can work out well for a spouse if they are in big business and they are marrying someone who doesn’t have a fortune of their own, to protect them from a gold digging person who may just be marrying them for money. There are usually provisions in a prenup that cover a lot of areas, such as what will happen to community property in the event of a divorce, in certain circumstances, alimony, if a spouse wants to include the other on any separate property, caveats regarding adultery, addictions, a per year settlement, etc. in celebrity couples however, the demands of a prenup can become outrageous. That is when we see the exorbitant amounts of money, monthly beauty allowances, spousal support, tickets or timeshares, and other vast sums for menial crap. (Pet care anyone?)

Under California law, prenups cannot govern alimony in most cases. There are a lot of loop holes that the entire prenup can fall through and will void the entire thing. For instance, the parties signing the prenup must have full mental capacity at the time of signing. I can just imagine what lengths she would have gone to in order to invalidate that. It also cannot be signed under duress, forced, coerced, nothing, else it is voided. You must give a FULL DISCLOSURE of your finances and property prior to signing. You must allow a full 7 days from the receipt of the document before signing to give an attorney the opportunity to look over it. If you choose not to have an attorney look over it then any alimony stipulations would be nullified anyway, and not enforceable.

So, knowing there was no prenup, lets take a realistic look at what she may be able to get her hooks in. Or not.

California is a community property state. Community property is usually divided equally, unless there are mitigating factors. More on this in a minute!

Under California family code, section 1610-1617
1610 b) “Property” means an interest, present or future…in real or personal property, including income and earnings.
Meaning, anything obtained during the marriage. But does not include anything obtained BEFORE the marriage took place. There is no mention of property obtained in the PAST. So, Johnny’s real estate, personal belongings, savings, are not included.

1615 Prenups are not enforceable if:
1) Party did not execute (sign) the agreement voluntarily.
4) agreement not executed under duress, fraud, or undue influence, and the parties did not lack capacity to enter into the agreement.

Lets review some terms.


Property acquired during marriage, all earnings and properties acquired with those earnings are owned in common and debts incurred during the marriage are the responsibility of both spouses. All property and profits acquired during the marriage EXCEPT property received by inheritance, gift, or as the profits from property owned before the marriage.


In community property states, property owned or controlled entirely by one spouse in a marriage. At divorce, separate property is NOT divided under the states property division laws, but is kept by the spouse who owns it. Separate property includes ALL PROPERTY that a spouse obtained before marriage, through inheritance, or as a gift. Includes any property that is traceable to separate property – for example cash from the sale of an art collection owned by one spouse before marriage.

So, the real estate that we know Johnny owns, the France property, the island, the Sweetzer compound, the eastern building condos, his apartment in New York (anyone know if he still has that?) those would all be before the marriage, and not subject to the greedy little witch getting anything from. So her temporary stay in the condo, she won’t be staying there much longer. Under California law, since he owned that before they got married, she has no hope of keeping it in the divorce. It never belonged to her. Her and Raquel had better start looking for cheaper apartments, pronto! Else they may be living in a box behind JC Penneys, since they might be able to afford the 1500 a month in rent.
Other personal property we know Johnny owns, his antique truck, the Rum Diary car, his porsche, the art collection, yeah, really there is so much stuff that he owns, I’m not even going to try to catalogue it all. The scarf collection, don’t forget that!
Her personal property, on the other hand, belongs solely to her. Her car. Her clothes….well again, maybe not all of it, same with jewelry. If he bought her some really expensive dresses, jewelry (3 engagement rings), those things would probably revert back to him. Because he would have bought the rings before the marriage, hence not community property, and the dresses may not have been a gift to her, but bought as a benefit for him. As shallow as that comes off as, its true. It can be something that he bought for her to wear that was for his benefit, to be able to see her dressed nicely beside him. Suck it up buttercups, thats life. I am not exactly sure on the increase in value of her car though, since he paid for it. I am sure that he gets to deduct that from his income and expenses though, so she will get penalized.
Proper etiquette also states that when a man purchases an engagement ring and the female is the one to file for divorce, he gets the ring back. Period. If he is the one to file for divorce, then she keeps the ring as a consolation. Turd filed, she forfeits the rings. I hope they removed them from the condo. Before she has a chance to hock them at a pawn shop. They need to go back into the bubble gum machine.

Legal principle followed by most states where assets and earnings acquired during marriage are divided fairly during divorce. The court is not required to divide equally. A spouse who is guilty of “fault” actions like adultery or domestic violence may receive less than an equal share.

Do you see what shes trying to do there? She wants more of his wealth acquired during their short tenured marriage. Good luck bitch. Granted, if the divorce would require one spouse to have to live on welfare, the other will be paying alimony, but she makes income of at least $10,000 per month. That isn’t welfare status. She didn’t play the smart way, she was so fiercely independent that she wanted to keep her career. In doing so, and not being a housewife, she still makes her own money that she can sustain herself on. The marriage only lasted 15 months, hardly time for her to become accustomed to living the high life. Even Khloe Kardashian is only getting $25,000 a month is alimony from Lamar Odom, and they were married for four years and have children together.

So the caveat to a prenup is that Johnny Depp could have lost a lot more than what the law can legally give her.

They were only married for a year. Lets take a look at what Johnny actually did during the short lived fiasco. Pirates 5, Hollywood Vampires, and residual royalty payments from past projects, as well as interest from interest bearing accounts. Also his production company Infinitum Nihil, other business interests. However, let us remember that in the business world, even if you make a million you can still be in the red. It all depends on how good of an accountant you have. So, throw out the businesses. Throw out the HV income for a moment, let us just focus on Pirates and royalties. Everyone knows that Johnny is in the 20 million club as an actor, that is no secret. We also know that it has been estimated and reported that his income from the Pirates franchise is astronomical, we can only focus on this last one and royalties.

What is his base pay? Let us imagine for a moment that it is 20 million, because the film has not been released yet, his bonus pay has not been configured. Alice hasn’t been out long enough for him to get any royalties, bonuses, extras, so no income from that. Black mass? Possibly…..maybe. So then we have doggygate Australia version, he has to fly her down and back several times, pay for attorneys, court fees, etc etc. how much did he pay for upkeep on all of his properties, taxes, general monthly living expenses for the both of them, child support, health care, any other monthly support that he had already been pledged to (ailing family member), personal taxes, his own upkeep, travel for business purposes, business dinners, you get the idea. So after those things are taken into account what is left, now divide by 2. Subtract $25,000 for her contribution since she claimed $50,000 in income, what is left over is the fair equitable amount that is left to give to her.

Now, riddle me funnier and better than that, my friends. We are going on the ASSUMPTION that Johnny even gets paid right before filming starts for a movie. Like what she probably gets paid, half now, and half at the end. We have no idea if Johnny was paid a month before filming started. In which case, he would have been paid before the wedding, and hence, personal property and income, not community. So she would only be entitled to half of the royalty amounts. After his expenses. Oops. So again, she may not leave with squat. See, when you get greedy, that’s when bad things happen. Remember, the first reports were that she refused to sign a prenup. Did Johnny not offer her enough to make it worth her while? Was he like Lamar and only offer $500,000 per year, or more like Tom Cruise who offered $3 million per year? Did she only see dollar signs and decide that she could get more than that, even if they were only married for a year, he did have a pirates movie to film after all. Was she under the assumption that she was entitled to half of everything? Was she not well versed in family law? It is my opinion, that no, she was not versed in law at all. With no comprehension of community property vs. personal property, but her attorney versed her real quick on equitable distribution.

So as a final example, why it was better for Johnny possibly to not make her sign a prenup.

If his income was $70 million during their marriage, and his expenses (production company, travel, taxes, etc) came to $65 million, the remainder would be $5 million. That would be divided in half, so $2.5 million, minus her $25,000 would leave her with $2,475,000. See how that works out better for Johnny than if she would have signed a prenup that would have given her an automatic 5 or 10 million just for marrying him?


12 Responses to “The Art of a Prenup”

  1. June 13, 2016 at 7:16 pm #

    Wow mind blowing Andy

  2. June 13, 2016 at 7:22 pm #

    Sorry Kieran jumped to email. Great post things i never knew thank you

  3. Jaj Latty June 13, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

    Very interesting….hope she doesn’t get diddly squat!!!

  4. Rum lover June 13, 2016 at 7:31 pm #

    Wow if that’s the case then very well played Johnny, here’s to you!! One of the things I like about Johnny he’s very clever! 😉

  5. usnpup June 13, 2016 at 8:31 pm #

    Great post! I also wondered if he bought the condos, furniture, cars, etc., with his production company or a trust instead of directly, they technically are not his and she could probably be evicted ASAP
    He was also smart to have her live elsewhere instead of his Sweetzer mansion so it could not be claimed as her home…just ponderings. I have zero knowledge of California law.

  6. Anon June 13, 2016 at 9:05 pm #

    Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom are not legally divorced yet (at least i dont think so?) and they do NOT have children. He does have kids with his ex wife though so maybe you were thinking of her? Just saying. Other than that it was good. LOL

  7. Liz June 13, 2016 at 9:40 pm #

    I agree he may actually come out better because of no pre nup. I also can’t see any judge granting her all 3 condos. Even if she can wiggle her way into keeping 1 unit, the other two should remain his. Unless he just decides to be a swell guy and give it to her. I highly doubt at this point.

    Now about that pirates money. In the reports I saw it was not mentioned. Only his Black Mass money.

    Here is what I know. For below the line folks, SAG actors included, we get paid after the work is completed. Like normal people. And residuals and profits come after release in quarterly payments. Meaning every 4 months you get a check.

    Now for the top tier folks it gets more complicated. You can’t ask a star like Johnny Depp to clear his schedule for 8 months of the year, and then have your project get shut down and him just not get paid.The $20+ million is a fee, a placeholder of sorts, that should go to him upon contract signing. He signed the POTC 5 contract before marriage. If the project were to go belly up, he keeps either all or a portion of that for time lost. If a portion of his pay is upon project completion, it should be noted, the project is not yet complete. 😉

    Now the way he ends up making much much more, all comes from back end profit and residuals deals. That comes AFTER the films release 2017 and beyond.

    I COULD be wrong but I don’t think she’s getting pirate money. I think she will get only a portion of whatever the Black Mass back end deal was. And any other income sources he had minus all those expenses… soo many expenses. I think she’s about to discover how expensive the business of Johnny Depp is. Just look how far in the red SHE was. And all her friends and family leeching off him….

    I can just imagine his accountants subtracting every last penny of expenses and going “whoops, Johnny had a bad year!” LMAO

    • sadforjd June 14, 2016 at 6:19 am #

      Perhaps turdy and her friends might just get a bill….missed rent, all the utilities bills, and God knows what else he gave or let them use….it could be interesting . I think this will be settled quietly by depp and as long as she shuts up and cooperates , she will get more than what she deserves. ..But if she digs in her heels it might get ugly and she will let us all know how terrible he is….how he is making her suffer.

      • usnpup June 14, 2016 at 1:55 pm #

        I hope he fights tooth and nail in court. I hope he prepared ahead of time for this possibility and protected all his assets. I hope if he has any serious evidence against her, he pursues charges against her. He needs to set the record straight for himself, his kids, and the next potential victim.

  8. kaibagirl June 13, 2016 at 10:29 pm #

    Oh Johnny, I hope that everything goes very well for you!! I pray that God gives you His Knowledge, His Wisdom, and His Understanding in order for you to win this battle and BEAT Amber Heard!!!! D: Amber is your TRUELY ENEMY as well as mines and all of us…. God will give you His Strength when you’re weak Johnny!!! He will, don’t worry Tamahome..

  9. D Elizabeth Romano June 13, 2016 at 11:02 pm #

    Thank you for the detail. This answered most, if not all, of the questions I’ve had about this highly publicized mess. It also validated a lot of things I believed to be true. Thanks again for the information.

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