How Mediation Helps Clashing Celebrities Avoid Costly and Embarrassing Public Litigation
For every publicly visible and contentious Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard trial, there are dozens more that never see the light of day.
The vagaries of showbiz careers can present special challenges for mediators. When splitting assets and determining child support, it can be difficult to estimate future income from film and TV profit participation and music royalties, and custody is often complicated by swings in employment status, which can keep a parent at home for six months, then take them to a foreign country for an extended period.
“Sometimes people in matrimonial actions just need to be heard, even if what they’re saying doesn’t have a tremendous amount of legal weight, so to speak,” says Brett Ward, a partner at law firm Blank Rome, who specializes in matrimonial law, and who also works as a mediator. “And once they’ve told their side of the story to someone who has a sympathetic ear, then the person in my shoes says, ‘Okay, now here’s how I would apply the law to that.’”
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"How Mediation Helps Clashing Celebrities Avoid Costly and Embarrassing Public Litigation," by Todd Longwell was published in Variety on April 19, 2023.