She’s the divorce lawyer for the world’s rich and famous. From Kim Kardashian to Britney Spears via Angelina Jolie, the American Laura Wasser has signed the agreements, alimony and custody rights of all the divorced Hollywood jet set. The last one standing? None other than Johnny Depp… We caught up with her to talk about her very special job.
The lawyer from Los Angeles, who receives us this Wednesday evening in her suite at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, barely landed in town (she is passing through to give a conference at C2 Montreal this Thursday morning), is a skilful interlocutor, we didn’t expect less. Her client, she defends him. And she does not budge.
“I know the facts,” she repeats. I don’t close my eyes to domestic violence. But I don’t condone unsubstantiated claims either. Because that’s what really hurts women. »
Note that the one that the gossip newspapers have baptized the “disso queen” for “queen of dissolution”, a title that makes her wince (“I’m not the queen of divorces!” She defends herself laughing), represented Johnny Depp in his divorce from Amber Heard, a case that was settled in “two months”.
Laura Wasser was also not involved in the very badly publicized defamation trial that followed (Amber Heard accusing Johnny Depp of domestic violence, the latter denying), a trial whose verdict, favorable to Johnny Depp, was brought in appeal, before the two parties finally came to an agreement, to date confidential.
Disconcertingly gentle, America’s most prominent lawyer, who has been in the divorce industry for nearly 30 years now, answers all of our questions, without trying to shirk.
Feminist, Laura Wasser? Absolutely, maintains our chic interlocutor, dressed all in black, who is said to be among the best-dressed lawyers in the United States, shaking her head. “And in a case of abuse and domestic violence, if, let’s say hypothetically, false allegations are made, not only does that ruin reputations, but it also takes away valuable court time from other people who, they , are real victims. »
Laura Wasser specifies in passing that she has the luxury, in her practice, of being able to refuse clients in whom she does not believe. Which was not the case with Johnny Depp, we understand. “I refuse clients who might be abusers, or others who refuse to share custody of their children out of hand,” she says. For what ? “I don’t take cases that can’t be settled. »
Besides, does she ever lose? ” But of course ! »
You know, in family law, everyone loses…
Laura Wasser, divorce lawyer
Nevertheless. It is said that she inspired the character of Laura Dern, in the very apropos Marriage Story by Noah Baumbach, released in 2019. However, even if several scenes of the film were actually shot in its Californian offices, even if it had Laura Dern as a client (just like Noah Baumbach’s ex-wife, by the way, Jennifer Jason Leigh), Laura Wasser thinks she looks more like the character of Alan Alda (down-to-earth old lawyer, remember!), in real life. “You are not doing anyone a favor by being aggressive or playing shark,” she believes. You have to be calm and rational. »
She certainly sees all the colors, so much so that the lawyer, to whom we owe a book (What to Expect When Getting Divorced) and two podcasts on the subject (Divorce Sucks And All’s Fair), understands less and less why people marry at the base.
To submit to a contract dictated by the State? That does not make any sense ! […] People don’t realize they’re signing a contract! Especially the women! What, am I going to have to pay a pension? But I am a woman. Eh yes !
Laura Wasser, divorce lawyer
Besides, whether your name is Britney or, say, Roger, the management of a separation is the same, she underlines. As painful and painful as it is dizzying. “Just add a few zeros to the stakes. But whether we argue over an old Honda or a private jet, we face the same fears, the same sadness. These are the same questions that come up: are the children going to be OK? Will I have enough to live on? »
His wish ? Let’s finally simplify the procedures, she replies, without the slightest hesitation. “If it happens this often, can we make it easier?” “For her part, after being briefly married at 20, Laura Wasser will not be caught there again. Two children from two different fathers later, separated without any paperwork, she is very happy like this, thank you. “Oh no! And my current spouse is fully aware! she concludes with a laugh.
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Johnny Depp’s lawyer persists, signs and tells herself