by Samantha Schnurr | Wed., Sep. 14, 2016 10:10 AM
When it comes to the surprising splits of the rich and famous, there is plenty of strategy involved behind the scenes to keep it all under wraps.
As Vanity Fair investigated, the people responsible for managing the divorces of high-profile couples like Johnny Depp and Amber Heard or Britney Spears and Kevin Federline have a few tricks up their sleeves to minimize press and maximize efficiency. To start, some clients settle their divorce privately before it has even formally begun.
"People may not even realize that this couple is getting divorced but we're actually all the way through the entire settlement before they even file anything with the court and announce to the world that they're splitting up," Laura Wasser, who represented Depp during his divorce this year, told the magazine. "Then they don't have to go through their entire divorce-settlement negotiation under a microscope."
However, that microscope provided by determined paparazzi can often prove helpful if one party is trying to make allegations against the other.
"We had a case where there was an issue of somebody drinking, and we found a picture in the papers, a tabloid, of that person in New York with a glass. We couldn't prove whether it was apple juice or scotch inside it, but it was in the evening and the person had a highball glass, like you would drink scotch out of," attorney Neal Hersh told Vanity Fair. "I didn't get a home run from that picture, but I got a triple. It was obvious what it was."
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images
With a front row seat to the personal lives of Hollywood's most mysterious figures, attorneys often feel like therapists rather than lawyers—and very few topics are off limits.
"People just say this, like it's nothing, 'Yeah, he likes to beat me,' 'He likes women's clothes,' 'He likes this type of thing,'" Hersh added. "One guy was talking to me about the size of his genitalia, because his wife was complaining it wasn't big enough or something. Honestly, do I need to know this?"
While conversations with famous clients behind closed doors can seem like a free-for-all, prenuptial agreements can be equally no holds barred.
"It was provided [in one case] that one of the parties could have extramarital liaisons and one couldn't," Hersh told the magazine. "That was disgusting. I wouldn't mind it if it was bilateral. . . . But we did it, and the surprising thing was that the other side signed it."