Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

April 29, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT....You know how liberals used to vent about how they were going to move to Canada if George Bush won the 2004 election? Well, it turns out that offhand comments like that can be used against you in a court of law. Johnny Depp is suing some developers for blocking the view from his multimillion dollar mansion, and their defense isn't that he's wrong, but that he said he wasn't going to live there anyway:

Depp asserts that the project would block the view his two children have while playing outside the 7,430-square-foot home. Backers of the development dispute that. They say that Depp has declared that the youngsters Lily-Rose, 6, and Jack, 4 will be raised in France, where he and French actress and singer Vanessa Paradis live.

....Developer Joseph Emrani...said he challenged Depp's representatives. "They said, 'The kids are playing over there and they don't want it to block their view.' I mentioned that his children live in Paris, and one of them said, 'That's very personal and we don't want to get involved with that.' "

Yo ho ho. No freedom fries for Lily-Rose and Jack!

Kevin Drum 12:29 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (34)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

If his kids can't see the Strip from their back yard, then the terrorists have won.

Posted by: craigie on April 29, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, before the Righties come in here and start gloating, consider the real issue - do you really want to argue that someone has no interest in their property just because they aren't using it right now?

Hey, are you actually using that extra billion dollars, Ms Rich Heiress? Are you living in those three other houses, Mr CEO?

That's what I thought.

Posted by: craigie on April 29, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Dagnabit, this is the United States of America, and we have the right to screw over other people if we want to. Especially if they're French.

This Depp guy is hurting the economy. Think of all the jobs this development project would create.

Et cetera, et cetera...

Posted by: josef on April 29, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Craigie hits it.

The developers lawyers can raise this sort of thing as a defense, but that doesn't mean the judge will buy it. Indeed, they could also have said, "Well, the voices coming from the Hale-Bopp Comet commanded our client to build this development." They can put that in the court filings, stand before the judge and enter the documents as pleadings, and issue press releases containing their explanation.

And when everyone's done laughing at them they will have their defense tossed out.

Posted by: Derelict on April 29, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with Craigie-- the value of the property is diminished by development. Depp should have gone with the financial argument instead of the sentimental one.

Posted by: latts on April 29, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Some of us were doing more than venting.

Getting Away: a guide for those contemplating leaving the U.S.

Posted by: goinsouth on April 29, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

When Depp finally moves to his mansion in France, I hope he has an excellent view of Muslim thugs torching vehicles.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on April 29, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Waddya think the developers political party is?
I wager it's the party that values property
over people. But they're switch-hitters when
it's to their advantage. Such principled stands
on fundamental issues of democracy! These are
the tweakers that are teaching Iraq the ways of
freedom and human rights, free of oppressive
dictators.

Posted by: Semanticleo on April 29, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Kenneth frequently talks such nonsense while I'm nailing him!

Posted by: Jeff Gannon on April 29, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

When Depp finally moves to his mansion in France, I hope he has an excellent view of Muslim thugs torching vehicles.

Oooohhhh, do I detect a little class envy there? Hmmm?

He also owns an island in the Bahamas. Bet that really burns you up!

Posted by: craigie on April 29, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Craigie hits nothing - Depp is attempting to diminish the developer's property interest and land value by restricting what can be built. If he wants to preserve views for his children, negotiate an easement or at least run some NIMBY style legislation through the political process. Otherwise, limited views are the risk you run for buying in West Hollywood.

Posted by: scouser on April 29, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

craigie, please stop reading my mind. it's very disconcerting.

Posted by: EM on April 29, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Craigie hits nothing

Maybe not now, but when I was single, boy...

Posted by: craigie on April 29, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

The kicker here is that, although stopping short of printing the address, the LA Times article with a map and a photograph identifies exactly where his house is, which of course affects his privacy.

Posted by: hopeless pedant on April 29, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

France is in trouble.

Consumer confidence is falling, gas prices have risen 37% over the past year, unemployment during March 2006 was 9.6%. Last month the French economy created an anemic 30,000 new jobs. Immigrant youths, especially Muslims, are restless.

Maybe Johnny Depp can tell the French people it's Bush's fault.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on April 29, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

And when everyone's done laughing at them [the city] they will have their defense tossed out.

Posted by: Derelict on April 29, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK


Guess who got laughed out of court?

From the linked article.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled against Depp last year. The case is being appealed on his behalf by his sister, Christi Dembrowski. She is his personal assistant and the president of his film production company, Infinitum Nihil.

My guess is that the trial court granted the city's motion to dismiss Mr. Depp's Complaint for lack of a viable legal claim. The argument that he wasn't going to live at the property is probably made to support the trial court's ruling that Depp has no legal claim or basis to challenge the city's decision to allow the development

Posted by: Chicounsel on April 29, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Frequency nailed it!

Posted by: shortstop on April 29, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Depp is actually afraid that if they start excavating, they'll find the bodies buried under his corn patch.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 29, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know much about this aspect of the law, but it seems that Depp's main argument boils down to, 'I'm rich, and I shouldn't have my perfect scenery ruined by other rich people working on their own property.' I'm not impressed, given that the view outside my apartment window is...more apartments. The developers' "Screw you, you're French" argument may be weak, but it's their property. In any case, I'm sure the case will be won by some rich, elitist asshole or another.

Posted by: ChiSox Fan in LA on April 29, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Tripe

Posted by: Ben Merc on April 29, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK


FREQUENCY KENNETH: Last month the French economy created an anemic 30,000 new jobs.

The U.S. population is about five times the 60 million who live in France, making those 30,000 newly created jobs equivalent to 150,000 created here. Whenever the U.S. economy has managed to create 150,000 jobs in a single month, the Bush administration trumpets it as if we all just won the lottery--never once referring to it as "anemic."


Posted by: jayarbee on April 29, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

In addition france's population growth rate is less than half that of the US, so they don't have to create nearly as many jobs to just stay even.

Posted by: jefff on April 29, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK


JEFFF: In addition france's population growth rate is less than half that of the US, so they don't have to create nearly as many jobs to just stay even.

Good point. And that would make their 30,000 jobs equivalent to more than 300,000 here. Has the Bush economy ever created that many new jobs in one month?


Posted by: jayarbee on April 29, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, glad to hear some Democrat finally admit 150,000 USA jobs per month is decent!

heh.

Posted by: BigRiver on April 29, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK


Hey, glad to hear some Democrat finally admit 150,000 USA jobs per month is decent!

Of course it's decent. And if Bush had been able to average that "anemic" number of new jobs every month since he stole office, there'd be 5-6 million more people working today.


Posted by: jayarbee on April 29, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

The liberal blogosphere should be all over this one. Talk about issues to build a majority around -- here's a rich, put-upon celebrity who isn't even sure he wants to live in this country battling in the courts over scenery!

A few campaign contributions in the right place and Johnny Depp could buy himself a place in the 2008 Democratic Party platform.

Posted by: Zathras on April 29, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

The press when not kissing Depps ass is forever trying to tear the man down.

Johnny Depp lives wherever his career takes him, he has several homes and spends time in his LA home as well as in France. He is an American whose job takes him all over the world.

Are you saying that just because he does not live in that particular house often enough to please you he has no rights or concerns about his own home?

I have to say the current political climate in this country is really scary, the free speech we are entitled to is not meant to be really free...I am sick to death of certain flag waving right wing narrow minded idiots making judgements, based on god knows what.

If the man is protecting his view through the legal means he is entitled to use what has that to do with you...get more hits on you website when Depps name appears in your article?

Posted by: Jenny on April 29, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

The Righties can gloat all they want. Unless Al and Tbroz are sleeping with Vanessa Paradis, Monsieur Depp has already won game, set, and match.

Posted by: Brian C.B. on April 29, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

I'm big on property rights, but when did you get to own your view?

Posted by: trostky on April 29, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Trostky, people DO own their view. In New Hampshire, they are now being taxed on it.

Posted by: Joey on April 29, 2006 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, "live free or get a good view", eh?

Posted by: craigie on April 29, 2006 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

That is kind of funny.

Posted by: merlallen on May 1, 2006 at 7:29 AM | PERMALINK

ChiSox Fan in LA (and others) -- Apparently, you haven't been living in LA all that long. California environmental law protects things like 'views' and 'sunlight'. A developer has to do his due diligence and make sure in regard to how the development impacts the neighboring land. It changes slightly from county to county, but generally this argument holds up in court. As you I hope understand, Californians pay a dear price for their views and their sunlight (cost of living being among them) and it's considered part of the value of the land.

Posted by: DC1974 on May 1, 2006 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly