Los Angeles: Two of Johnny Depp's former bodyguards are taking the Hollywood star to court for unpaid wages and forcing them to work in hazardous conditions. Eugene Arreola and Miguel Sanchez claim they were exposed to "illegal substances" and loaded weapons when they were serving Depp, People magazine reported.
The duo also claims that they were made to work as de facto babysitters for the 54-year-old actor's minor child and were also "forced to protect (Depp) from himself".
Arreola is a retired police detective and Sanchez first started working for Depp in 2013, when they were employed by a local personal security corporation, according to their complaint.
They say they were hired as part of the star's personal in-house security team in 2016, around which he started displaying strange behaviour.
"Depp began making sudden and drastic changes to his staff and management team, causing a significant financial crunch for everyone surrounding Depp, except for Depp himself," the complaint read.
It further read that Arreola and Sanchez accepted the role as in-house detail as they "were loyal to Depp and his family and understanding of the financial hurricane Depp was in".
The actor is currently embroiled in a USD 25 million lawsuit with his former business managers, whom he claims mismanaged and exhausted a sum of USD 650 million that he earned in the last two decades. His former managers claim Depp's alleged extravagant standard of living is to blame for his financial troubles.
Arreola and Sanchez claim once they started reporting to Depp directly, they noticed their paychecks did not contain the "overtime and rest pay" elements.
Depp's two former employees allege they were exploited by the actor as they were put in situations that "that required more than what a bodyguard would be expected to do" as they were "constantly used as drivers, driving back and forth at Depp's or his family's beckoning".
They also say they were "asked repeatedly to drive vehicles that contained illegal substances" and "open containers" and "were asked to monitor unstable individuals in (Depp's) life and entourage".
The complaint states that the bodyguards "were forced to protect (Depp) from himself and his vices while in public, becoming caretakers for him".
Arreola and Sanchez are asking to be compensated for the allegedly unpaid wages, as well as for attorney fees and damages.