The Basement

Legal Filings Debunk the ‘Respondent’ Greg Ellis’ Belittling Proclamation Against Family Court

Struggling actor with history of mental illness blames court system for his woes, makes Amber Heard the symbol of his downfall.

The trial is over, but the agenda-driven smear campaign against Amber Heard shows no signs of abating. With the type of weaponized half-truths and outright fabrications that would make QAnon blush, modern-day charlatans are making small fortunes on monetized media with the singular purpose of humiliating and defeating one woman. One wouldn’t expect successful people in their own right to count themselves as members of that cult. Yet, hysteria, paranoia, and opportunities to make a vague point make people engage in some pretty distasteful activities. Johnny Depp pal Greg Ellis leads this charge, a struggling actor who’s been institutionalized multiple times yet is using the Aquaman actress as clickbait to hawk his bogus book, The Respondent, about how the family court system, his wife, his friends, and associates all conspired against him.

Meet Greg Ellis: Actor, Writer, Professional Victim of the “Cartel of Family Law”

“What happened to Greg Ellis is more unbelievable than the plot of any Hollywood movie,” wrote Vicki Newman for The Mirror in 2021. “The Pirates of the Caribbean star lost his home, career, and kids overnight after an [alleged] ’10-word lie’ saw him thrown into a psychiatric hospital and dragged through the family courts in America.”

Ellis has stated for years that he was fine mentally. As his two young sons played upstairs at his Los Angeles home, he has repeatedly claimed he answered the door to police officers, who told him they’d received a report from someone that he had said: “I’m sick of this s**t, I’m gonna harm the children,” setting off a series of events that has ultimately made him a hero to the manosphere.

Ms. Newman, along with a host of other writers and talks show hosts, have repeated Ellis’ fiction without ever bothering to fact-check it. But now, with court records obtained by the GeekBuzz, we can pull back the curtains to reveal details, eyewitness statements, and Ellis’ own words on these pivotal events that tell a completely different story.

Anosognosia: The Denial One Has a Mental Illness

“I… realized I’ve been sick for a long time.” – Greg Ellis, in a text to his friend Kelly Sutherland, as revealed in court documents dated 2/16/2016
“They discharged me… there wasn’t nothing wrong with me. –  also Greg Ellis, speaking to Dr. Drew in October 2021 about his release from a psychiatric facility in March 2015

In an episode of Dr. Drew’s podcast last year, Ellis was caught in several lies and then attempted to invoke anecdotal evidence to support his claims. Drew mostly gave him a pass.

“In the span of 24 hours, I was ushered from my home in handcuffs, committed to an institution against my will, subjected to a temporary restraining order which then became permanent in divorce court on the basis of a false allegation.”

Dr. Drew, an addiction medicine specialist with experience in these matters, points out this is confusing to him “because one must meet certain criteria for admission… an admitting process… a specific diagnosis… a documented symptom complex… what happened to that process?”

Ellis pushes back,  stating that wasn’t his experience and that “every case is different.” Drew presses him by saying there are very stringent admission requirements reviewed by state Departments of Health and other governing bodies that make sure psychiatric facilities don’t just admit people. Ellis merely states that hasn’t been the experiences of ‘people he’s talked to.’

However, legal filings reveal on March 5, 2015, in the state of New Mexico, Ellis was placed on a Welfare and Institutions Code 5150 out of fear he was a danger to himself and others. He even told Dr. Drew he was put in a straightjacket, something so rare as to be unbelievable. According to David Susman, PhD, a clinical psychologist, mental health advocate, professor, and writer, straitjacket use was discontinued long ago in psychiatric facilities in the US.  If Ellis was put in a straitjacket, he must have been going off the rails, yet he tells Dr. Drew he was “calm and rational.” So despite what Ellis claims, he DID receive a diagnosis during the admission process. He wasn’t just picked up and thrown into a mental asylum for no real reason, even if he disagrees with the reason – a call he wasn’t qualified to make.

A Danger to Himself… and Others.

“… I was a family man…I volunteered at school…I was a member of an exclusive country club or golf club, so I play golf.” ~ Greg Ellis, explaining to Dr. Drew how normal his life was. But what do the court documents say?


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“I learned this week that you recently confronted other Campbell Hall parents aggressively, inappropriately… This is not the first time that I have heard such complaints from other Campbell Hall parents or staff members. This letter will therefore serve to notify you [that] you may not enter the Campbell Hall campus for any reason whatsoever unless you have an appointment.. Failure to comply with these requests could result in the immediate separation of your children from the school, legal action against you, or both.” ~ The Rev. Canon Julian P. Bull, Headmaster, Campbell Hall.

“Your actions… raise grave concerns about the safety and security of the Lakeside members, guests, and employees… The Club has commenced an investigation of your conduct…” ~ Board of Directors, Lakeside Golf Club.

As indicated above, court transcripts and evidence reveal that while Ellis’ then-wife Dana Rees was out of state for work, his children’s school and his golf club banned him from their premises because of disturbing behavior. Several witnesses – associates, friends,  and their children’s nanny – revealed Ellis was acting erratically and made a suicidal statement and a specific threat against their children.

The ’10 Word Lie” Was, In Fact, Accurate. Ellis Friends and Associates Dispute His Version of Events

Ellis has continuously contended the catalyst for all his domestic, professional, and legal woes was a “10 Word Lie,” a statement attributed to him that he denies making. For the record, that statement allegedly was, “I’m sick of this s**t, I’m gonna harm the children.” It’s apparent from court documents that the quote Ellis constantly repeats is not an actual quote from anyone but a conflation of several witness statements. So,  when Ellis claims on the Dr. Drew show, “there’s no evidence of me ever saying that,” he’s correct. No one ever used those words to describe his demeanor and actions during that time.  But when he tells Drew “that was reported on 9-1-1 tape and my ex-wife said it,” he’s being dishonest.

Further, Ellis-friendly sources say he was having meetings with “Hollywood producers” and “huge stars” on the day police first came to his home.  The court documents reveal what happened then, including someone who was apparently at that meeting, film producer and Ellis friend Adam Fogelson.

On March 5, 2015, while l was in Seattle for work, our nanny‚ Kia Chadwick, sent me a text which stated that Respondent had fired her without speaking with me. I then called Respondent and asked him why he had fired Kia and responded that she had been with our sons for eight (8) months and knew enough about them. I could tell something was not right. He then put our son, Charlie, on the phone. I later received a call from Adam Fogelson, a family friend, who told me that he had just finished a two (2) hour meeting with Respondent and said that “he was making no sense and was confused.” Worried about our children’s safety, l asked Adam to call 911 because my husband was alone with our children. I also called my mother Emily Liebscher, our family physician, Dr. Dave Grossman, and our family friend, Patrick Fabian, to let them know what was happening.

I also called Kia as I was boarding plane, who connected me to the officer on site and informed him that Respondent had told me that “he was sick of this shit and was tired of it all” and “wanted to end his life.” I was also later informed by a social worker that he made a specific violent threat against our children and that he wanted to “get rid of them.”

Ellis was released from his first hold on March 11, 2015 and Rees had an an Emergency Protective Order (EPO)  issued that same day. In interview after interview, Ellis speaks of this as if it was a grave injustice against him when it was completely warranted. Again, court transcripts show Ellis was a danger to his family. While that EPO was in effect, he appeared at the front door of their house, rang the doorbell, and asked if he could come in. He was told he was not allowed to enter the house because of the EPO. He said, “I’m going to come into the house anyway.” A few minutes later, he broke a window and gained access to the home. Rees called 911, and the police arrested him, which led to a second W&I Code 55150, and another Emergency Protective Order was issued.

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With Cocaine in His Toxicology Report, Ellis Tried to Game the Court Regarding His Mental Health

In interviews today, Ellis claims “there was nothing wrong with him.” Yet the presiding judge gave Ellis every opportunity to produce his mental health records to show the court he was a man of sound mind, but he refused.

At issue was whether his mental health experts would testify on his behalf. He appeared to be willing to let doctors testify at one point. However, after the judge told him they would be deposed and questioned and they would abide by the court’s rules, not his, Ellis declined. He told the court, after speaking with his lawyer for five minutes, that he would not be calling any of them to give testimony.

Click thumbnails for full documents

This was the defining moment. He had his chance to prove himself but took the cowardly way out– using the excuse that he did not want to drag the case out any longer than necessary. But if he really wanted to prove his sanity, he would have told the judge that he was willing to go the distance no matter how long it took.

This was a cop-out for Ellis to blame the judicial process for taking his kids away from him when the court gave him every opportunity to allow his psychiatrists to testify on his behalf. This was his downfall. It’s obvious he didn’t want them to testify out of fear that the truth about his mental illness would be exposed.

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There can be no doubt something happened to Greg Ellis. What that is exactly has been clouded by the fiction he’s presented to the public in interviews and his book, the Respondent. His insistence he is blameless and that his wife, friends, multiple eyewitnesses, and the legal system of the State of California conspired against him only makes him appear more unstable.

In recent years Ellis – whose toxicology report revealed the violence-inducing drug cocaine in his system – has used the tried, true, and misogynistic tactic of claiming his troubles were a result of his wife’s alleged mental health.

It’s interesting, though not surprising, he’s chosen Amber Heard to be an almost obsessive focus. Though he and her ex-husband are fast friends, the Heard-Depp saga doesn’t fit the pattern of domestic legal bias Ellis rails against. For starters, the former couple had a legally amicable divorce in which she walked away from millions lawfully owed her. She doesn’t fit his stereotype, written about in his book and preached on media outlets, of the manipulative woman taking every legal means to financially ruin her ex-husband and separate him from his children. In fact, since their marriage ended, every litigation involving Ms. Heard and Depp has been brought by the former Pirates of the Caribbean actor, not Amber. Further, he and his vaulted legal team have sought the best jurisdictions to improve their chances of a favorable outcome. This has been the antithesis of what Ellis describes as the ‘cartel of family law’ profiting from men.

Ellis once  told the IFS Institute of Family Assault in an interview “if masculinity is under assault, fatherhood is the inherent bull’s-eye with the traditional role of a family patriarch severely denigrated.” These are dog whistles to the manosphere – a movement known for misogyny, opposition to feminism, and online harassment tha have been implicated in radicalizing men into misogynist beliefs and the glorification of violence against women.

However, court filings disclose it was not masculinity under assault but Ellis’ wife and kids when, after assuring her he was still locked up in a psychiatric ward, he showed up at the door. And when she refused to let him in, he went to the rear of the house, broke a living room window to gain unlawful entry, sounding the house alarm, waking the children and terrorizing his family. This shouldn’t sound manly to anyone.

UPDATE: Ellis announced on Oct. 4 he’d finished the screenplay for a movie that will detail his version of these events. It isn’t clear whether it contains the findings of the court or if any movie studio is interested.

Complete documents below




About the author

J Davis

J is a former rock star, former DJ, comic book & political historian, and novelist who once read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlocked the secrets of the universe.

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