After winning more than $8 million in his defamation case against Amber Heard, Johnny Depp is once again preparing to go to court - this time defending himself against former colleague Gregg “Rocky” Brooks, who claims Depp punched him in the ribcage on the set of the City of Lies movie in 2018.
But according to an exclusive recording obtained by RadarOnline.com, a potential key witness in the forthcoming trial could blow the whole case wide open.
On the tape, Officer John Bigrigg, a former Green Beret and retired 35-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department who was working with the L.A. Film Unit at the time of the alleged assault, can be heard saying:
“I walked over to where the disturbance was, and it was already over. Neither of the combatants showed no sign of wear, complained of injuries, or said that they wanted to press charges.”
Officer Bigrigg’s recollection to noted Hollywood private investigator Paul Barresi and provided to this website would seem to directly contradict Brooks’ allegations.
In court documents relating to his case against Depp, location manager Brooks claimed their dispute started because he informed the actor they were shooting past the time of their permit. He said that director Brad Furman assigned him the task of giving Depp the bad news that he would not have enough time to finish the scene because the clock was about to run out... and that this is what incited the alleged assault.
Depp refuted those claims in his response, saying he acted in "self-defense" and that Brooks had "provoked" the alleged dispute.
As previously revealed by RadarOnline.com, Depp’s behavior on the City of Lies set had already caused tensions, with leaked daily production reports detailing a series of absences and incidents where he failed to show up for work at all, costing up to a million dollars in lost filming days.
And Brooks also claims that the Pirates of the Caribbean star’s “intoxication and temper” on set “created a hostile, abusive and unsafe work environment” and that the alleged assault caused him “emotional distress” and “humiliation”.
His lawsuit also states that Depp offered him $100,000 to punch him in the face after the incident.
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Speaking after the Amber Heard verdict, Brooks’ lawyer Pat Harris remarked that his client’s case was “not about two Hollywood celebrities involved in a toxic relationship. It is about the assault of a hard-working film crew member by the star of the production. Mr. Brooks looks forward to his day in court."
But Officer Bigrigg’s memory of the incident would seem to paint a different picture.
“It was a minor squabble, and I took it in a humorous light,” he says. “And, if my recollection serves me right, Rocky told me that if Johnny ever tried to fight him, he’d put him on his back."
Movie cops such as Bigrigg with the Retired Los Angeles Police Motion Picture Television Film Enforcement Unit are former L.A.P.D. officers charged with the safety for movie companies to do running shots, stunts on the streets, and interaction between the crew and the public.
Investigator Barresi was hired to look into the case and told RadarOnline.com that although he interviewed multiple witnesses, the only person whose evidence he thought reliable was ex-cop Bigrigg.
"Let's call it like it is in the real world,” he says. “Everybody I interviewed on that set had something to lose and nothing to gain by telling me that Johnny assaulted Brooks. So, for this reason, I deemed them all unreliable witnesses. The one person I did interview, however, whose statements I am confident that I could take to the bank, was John Bigrigg."
Depp has also played down the alleged assault, saying in a deposition: "I had my assistant bring a bottle of wine. And we toasted in I think paper cups. And, you know, no harm, no foul. I apologized. He apologized. Gave him a hug. We embraced. You know, I hugged him. And everything was cool. As a matter of fact, he asked for a selfie with me. And so I took a selfie with him."
Brooks is seeking “unspecific damages” if he wins the case and is suing the film's producers and directors as well, but as reported by RadarOnline.com, as recently as last week Depp’s legal team, headed by attorney Camille Vasquez, was deep in negotiations to settle the matter out of court.
Will Officer Bigrigg’s revelations change their tactic?