Weird Celebrity News: Johnny Depp Subpoenaed
Not even the rich and famous can escape being subpoenaed. And sometimes, a delusional fan is the reason for it.
At the premiere of his latest movie last Thursday, Johnny Depp was served legal documents calling him as a witness in a murder case. But Depp wasn’t a witness to the crime, nor does he know the person who committed it. So what’s the connection?
In 2009, Nancy Lekon was driving in Los Angeles when she struck and killed a passenger, who was dragged by her car for over a mile. Lekon claimed that she was in such a rush because she was on her way to meet Depp; with whom she claimed to be in a relationship. But there is no connection between Depp and Lekon besides the woman’s (perhaps) delusional obsession with him.
Lekon’s lawyer has been trying to prove she is not guilty by reason of mental insanity, and wants Depp’s testimony to prove that. If Depp testifies that he was not dating Lekon, it would go to support the claim. The fact Depp was subpoenaed is a bit of an anomaly in itself. A subpoena is a legal document that compels someone to testify in court. If you’re subpoenaed and don’t show up, you could be held in contempt.
In a lot of cases, it makes sense to subpoena someone. If there is a crime with one key witness, or someone with a very specialized field of knowledge, it would make sense to compel them to testify in a trial- without them, important information would not be heard by the jury or judge, and the verdict could be skewed as a result. But in this case, it seems like just about anyone could have surmised that Lekon wasn’t actually dating Depp.
So why was Depp subpoenaed so publicly, five years after the crime? One would assume Mr. Depp’s publicists could have gotten this information to Lekon’s attorney in writing, and have the information be just as effective. It’s possible that despite this subpoena, which Depp probably wasn’t expecting, he won’t take the stand physically. Rather, he could submit a written statement, or testify via a phone call.
This isn’t the first time a celebrity will have testified about someone they don’t know. In November of 2013, Alec Baldwin took the stand to testify against a stalker of his. But the difference between Baldwin and Depp is that Baldwin’s life had been affected by the woman stalking him- as she repeatedly called and messaged him. Depp, on the other hand, has never been in contact with Lekon.
Nonetheless, the tactic is an interesting one from Lekon’s public defender. There will probably be other medical evidence and professional testimony to support the insanity defense, but the ability to utilize a figure as public and well known as Depp himself might really drive home the attorney’s assertion about Lekon. While many people claim insanity defense as a way to escape being held responsible for their actions, a delusion as grandiose as this one could be the icing on the cake to help Lekon escape this murder charge.
And while this is definitely a new (and odd) tactic, it’s possible that Lekon’s attorney is doing it for show. In situations like this, where a party has relevant information but could provide the same information in a written format, they would just go through a deposition. So the fact Depp was served these papers at his movie premiere, about a 5-year-old case, regarding a woman he has never met, seems fishy at best. Knowing the extent of Depp’s resources, it wouldn’t be surprising if his own lawyers find a way for Depp to get out of testifying in person.
Molly Hogan (@molly_hogan13)
Featured image courtesy of [Caroline Bonarde Ucci via Wikipedia]