One of the most highly paid actors in the world, Johnny Depp, has been in the middle of multiple legal issues. Personally, Depp finalized his acrimonious divorce from Amber Heard amidst allegations that he was violent and under the influence of alcohol and drugs during their rocky marriage. As quickly as he finished that chapter, another legal case arrived in the form of a lawsuit against Depp’s former managers, who he has claimed mismanaged and embezzled his earnings over the last several years.
In January, Depp charged that multiple business groups and individual managers had taken in an estimated $25 million dollars from the Oscar-nominated actor and engaged in “gross misconduct and at times, outright fraud,” with his earnings. The suit stated that Depp had to sell multiple asses to help pay off the debt occurred. One of the defendants named, The Management Group (TMG), has said Depp’s “irresponsible spending” is the cause of his financial woes and that Depp failed to pay back a $5 million loan from 2014 to TMG. TMG countersued Depp over the loan.
As the lawsuit has progressed up to this point, TMG has publicized and filed in court Johnny Depp’s month-to-month spending. In their argument, TMG has stated Depp spent more than $500,000 in renting multiple storage units to keep his personal memorabilia, another $17,000 in fashion handbags and luggage, and an extra $7,000 for a couch gifted to his daughter. TMG also claim Depp’s personal staff is responsible for spending another $1 million on various expenses for Depp’s private island home in the Bahamas. When the actor severed ties with TMG, he incurred $55,000 in debt on a credit card and simply refused to pay it off; TMG ended up footing the bill.
At this point, both sides are asking the courts to rule who is responsible for Depp’s economic problems: the actor himself or TMG and the other defendants listed in the lawsuit. That being said, many have divulged into Depp’s massive income throughout his career and are astounded by the fact that he is in debt – despite making almost $700 million dollars for his work. Hollywood’s analysts are looking at the case because some see it as a pinpoint example of an actor abusing their power for a lavish lifestyle that is unaffordable, even with his film-by-film earnings.
This is some of the long-listed things Depp has spent on in the last decade. His private island home was bought for a tidy $5.35 million. For the funeral of writer Hunter S. Thompson, Depp spent $5 million for a cannon to be carried to the top of a tower and shoot off Thompson’s ashes. From a New York City art gallery, Depp spent another $600,000 on three paintings. A wine aficionado, Depp has reportedly spent up to $30,000 a month on the finest wines in the world. His yearly payroll for his staff is roughly $3.6 million. His personal yacht cost $10 million and renovated it at a bill of $8 million, plus another $4.2 million per year for maintenance. Depp was forced to sell the boat for a fraction of the entire price to help pay off the debt.
On top of all of that, Depp is known to be the owner of, at least, a dozen different residences around the world, and has numerous fees for his lawyers and agents, plus support he agreed to pay for his long-time ex-girlfriend and their two children. The residences he currently still owns is estimated to be worth a combined $60 million, a third of that being the five houses Depp owns in Los Angeles. Based on all of this, plus the cost of maintaining every collectable he buys, Depp’s ex-financial managers wrote in their counter-lawsuit that he “lived an ultra-extravagant lifestyle that often knowingly cost [him] in excess of $2 million per month to maintain, which he simply could not afford. Depp alone…is fully responsible for any financial turmoil he finds himself in today.”
While both sides have refrained from commenting on the lawsuit so far, it is clear that, even if a settlement is reached or if the judge favors Depp, the lavish, hedonistic lifestyle of a Hollywood A-list is finally coming back to bite him. He is obviously not the first person to spend more than they make, but the arrogance Depp may be showing could become a portrait of what notto be like when success strikes. Outside of his spending, Depp has been presented as a prima donna for his lateness to the set and alleged conflicts with others over his behavior. When in Australia filming the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie, he was fined for smuggling in his pet dogs into the country despite their strong animal quarantine laws. Since the days of the TV series 21 Jump Street, Depp has risen to massive stardom and multi-million dollar hits in Pirates of the Caribbean and Alice in Wonderland, and still was paid millions off flops including Transcendence and Mortdecai.
Now, even with future films on slate to become financial hits (despite the critical panning), Depp’s reputation has taken a hit that could scare away actors, directors, and producers. Any salary for his work could be now lower than when it was the past few years and put him in a bigger hole – especially if he’s found liable on the countersuit and has to pay off the legal fees and debt himself. He could get his $25 million, but Depp would have to sell off his most of his residences and memorabilia to simply balance the books in the near future. He would have to bring back the confidence to studios with acclaimed performances (besides profitable movies) to justify those high salaries he gets paid, especially when they take up a quarter of a movie’s budget and eats up a chunk up of any profit made.
The lawsuit is one big mess and can determine future business relationships between actor and financial managers. This is Hollywood’s finally at its reckoning. The area of The BIG A list actor is over.