Johnny Depp and Alec Baldwin have opened up about their grueling – and high profile – divorce battles in a new book written by British actor Greg Ellis.
The Respondent: Exposing the Cartel of Family Law is set to be published on June 29, featuring a foreword penned by Baldwin as well as an introduction by the Pirates of the Caribbean star.
The book delves into Ellis’s own bitter divorce and custody battle while aiming to expose the ‘archaic and inhumane’ family court system and its ‘gender bias’ against men and fathers.
The issues are all too familiar to Depp and Baldwin, both of whom have endured highly publicized and acrimonious divorce battles against their respective spouses.
Baldwin, 63, was infamously embroiled in a contentious child custody case over his daughter Ireland after divorcing first wife Kim Basinger in 2002.
The 30 Rock star has openly spoken about the nasty legal fight over the years, admitting he harbors more resentment for the courts and the ‘divorce industry’ than for his ex-wife.
Johnny Depp and Alec Baldwin share their views on the grueling divorce process in new book, The Respondent: Exposing the Cartel of Family Law, published on June 29
Depp, meanwhile, remains entangled in a hostile court battle against ex-wife Amber Heard four years after their divorce was finalized.
The couple’s split has drawn significant media attention due to the domestic abuse allegations against Depp, who later brought on defamation cases against British tabloid The Sun and Heard.
In excerpts obtained by DailyMail.com, Depp, 58, endorsed Ellis’s work in his dedication, describing the book as ‘both a chilling reminder and essential therapy for anyone navigating the recrimination and trauma that is modern American divorce.’
The Respondent: Exposing the Cartel of Family Law is written by British actor and Pirates of the Caribbean star Greg Ellis, who aims to expose the ‘archaic and inhumane’ family court system while detailing his own bitter custody battle in 2015
‘It is also both diagnosis and prescription, mediating on the depths of the crisis and the way out. Greg Ellis sets the record straight and shatters the myths of divorce court,’ he continues.
‘This is Greg’s story. It’s your story. And it’s our story. If you’re trapped in the dungeon that is the family court system, The Respondent should be your constant companion.’
Ellis, 53, who starred alongside Depp as Lieutenant Commander Theodore Groves in the Disney film franchise, has been an outspoken supporter of the actor in his ongoing legal battle with Heard.
Speaking to DailyMail.com, the author explained he aims to shed light on a system that he believes works against ‘the respondent’ – the term given to the defendant in a divorce petition – which often tends to be the husband.
‘Like many people who have known [Johnny] for many years in Hollywood, [I think] he’s a wonderful fellow and a great dad,’ Ellis said.
‘People think that celebrities are immune to pain and suffering and the vicissitudes of family law and corrupt attorneys so I knew what he’d been through the moment I found out about it and I support him. I have supported him, and I stand beside him.’
Ellis, who divorced his wife in 2015, believes Depp is a victim of a ‘targeted campaign by someone who clearly was seeking fame and notoriety through their association with him and then used the silver bullet of false accusation of domestic violence.’
Ellis, who starred alongside Johnny Depp as Lieutenant Commander Theodore Groves (right) in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, has been an outspoken supporter of his co-star in his legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard
The British actor has openly criticized the family court system and its alleged bias towards women and mothers
‘And that stain is hard to get off, particularly if you’re a man and a father, particularly if you’re famous and a celebrity. It’s disgusting and disgraceful what’s happened to him.’
Ellis added: ‘I think if we’re going to talk about toxic masculinity, we have to talk about toxic femininity.’
Unlike in other courts of law, men and fathers in family courts are not afforded due process and the presumption of innocence, Ellis claimed.
‘The cruel irony is that this system – the stated purpose of which is to resolve conflict – more often perpetuates the fight, pitting two desperate people against each other and kicking any sense of responsibility down the road,’ he said.
The father-of-two explained he felt compelled to write the book after struggling to find published works or guidance on the matter during his own divorce five years ago.
He decided to reach out to Baldwin, who in 2008 co-authored a book documenting his own separation from Kim Basinger, titled, ‘A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce.’ Baldwin then showed his support by offering to write the foreword.
Alec Baldwin, who also co-authored a book on divorce, was pictured greeting fans outside The Whitby in New York City this week
‘It was a very generous email and very kind offer, and that provided the impetus for me to start the multimedia conservation on the modern or positive masculinity,’ Ellis said.
In the candid foreword, Baldwin admits to having felt ‘defeated and overwhelmingly reflective’ after his marriage ended and describes the emotional turmoil brought on by the lengthy and expensive divorce process.
‘In the ensuing years, as I was dragged through the suffering and humiliation of the California family law system (an entity that I came to equate with a criminal organization, defined by their casual willingness to inflict pain in order to extort money), I became outraged by what I was put through. So much so that I wrote a book about the experience,’ he writes.
‘I encourage you to read Greg Ellis’s book, The Respondent, a fresh and updated take from an American divorce court, where some things have changed (now men are seeking—and in some instances even gaining—sole custody of their children, either justifiably or as the result of the malignant parental alienation that plagued them for so long) and some things are, unconscionably, the same.
‘Divorce court, divorce mediation, custody evaluations, forensic accountings… It’s all a foreign land to most people and one where you can easily lose your sanity coming to terms with the senseless rules that govern there, rules that will potentially affect the rest of your life,’ the actor adds.
Although the book paints a confronting picture of family breakdowns and the ugly consequences of divorce, Ellis says it is also intended to be a source of support.
‘It’s a guidebook, part meditation, part manifesto, part mediation, but it also offers solutions and help and hope for those going through the system,’ he said.
The British voice actor revealed he has also launched a charity to support children and parents going through the court process.
The nonprofit, Children & Parents United (CPU), aims to ‘promote and improve child well-being’ by offering help and resources’ and in turn reducing ‘conflict for those children and parents navigating our current family law systems.’
The Respondent: Exposing the Cartel of Family Law is available for pre-order online.