Johnny Depp’s attorney Camille Vasquez to defend Yellowstone star in disability fraud case

·2-min read

Johnny Depp’s former attorney Camille Vasquez has signed on to represent a new Hollywood client, Yellowstone star Q’orianka Kilcher.

Kilcher has been charged with two felony counts of workers’ compensation fraud by the California Department of Insurance (DOI) for allegedly claiming $96,838 (£84,071) in disability benefits that were “undeserved”. The actor pleaded not guilty.

“We are determined to defend Ms Kilcher in this important case which examines the inherent flaws in the disability compensation system,” Vasquez’s firm shared in a statement to Fox News.

“Ms Kilcher is a well-respected and pioneering actress in Hollywood, and we intend to clear her name.”

Kilcher claims she sustained a neck and shoulder injury in 2018 on the set of the film Dora and the Lost City of Gold, which left her unable to work for a year.

According to court documents obtained by The New York Post, Kilcher contacted her insurance company in October 2019 claiming she had been unable to work since the accident “because her neck pain was too severe”.

Camille Vasquez and Johnny Depp (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Camille Vasquez and Johnny Depp (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

However, a DOI review found that she had actually continued to work on Yellowstone, in which she ironically plays attorney Angela Blue Thunder, from July 2019 to October 2019.

The investigation claims Kilcher had claimed the $96,838 in benefits between October 2019 and September 2021.

Kilcher self-surrendered to authorities and pleaded not guilty at her arraignment on 27 May.

Vasquez became a celebrity in her own right during Depp’s defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard, which they won.

‘Yellowstone’ star Q'orianka Kilcher (Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
‘Yellowstone’ star Q'orianka Kilcher (Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

Through clips, memes, Instagram accounts and more, Depp’s intense fanbase turned Vasquez into a figure of adulation.

TikToks set to romantic music of the pair holding hands and talking closely were also posted, stirring rumours that the two were dating.

Vasquez shut down the rumours on more than one occasion, saying: “I’m Cuban and Colombian. I’m tactile. What do you want me to say? I hug everyone. And I’m not ashamed about that.”

After winning the Depp-Heard trial, Vasquez was elevated to partner at her firm Brown Rudnick because of the key role she played as a member of Depp’s legal team.

On 1 June, a jury announced it had found that Heard defamed Depp on three statements, and that Heard was defamed by one of three statements in her countersuit. Depp was awarded $10.35m in damages, while Heard was awarded $2m.