He may be embroiled in financial troubles, but Johnny Depp has no intention of selling the horse farm he owns in his home state for any less than its asking price
Johnny Depp’s horse farm in Kentucky
Save for four years in the early 2000s, Kentucky native Johnny Depp has owned this 41-acre estate since 1995, when he first bought it for his mother, Betty Sue Palmer. The Pirates of the Caribbean star has a penchant for collecting and furnishing properties, and had this place running as a fully functioning horse farm until late last year.
The Greek Revival-style main house was built in 1915. It has 6,000 square feet of living space, spread over six bedrooms and seven baths, plus a dining room, family room and sun lounge. The master suite and open-plan kitchen were recently refurbished, with the latter featuring a Scandi-style island countertop and new appliances. The manicured grounds feature a guesthouse, a swimming pool with a slide, a patio, four-car garage and three barns. The stables are the main highlight, however, and are made up of 15 stalls and 10 paddocks with a state-of-the-art automaticwatering system. The paddocks are protected by the stately dark wood fencing that the area is known for, and built on a lush patch of bluegrass, the fodder of choice for pure-breed racehorses.
Depp was born in nearby Owensboro and grew up surrounded by horse farms. In fact, Lexington is known as the “horse capital of the world”, with similar such farms dotting the countryside, along with thoroughbred racetracks, most notably the Red Mile and Keeneland. Of course, few of the other farms will have the plush rugs, quirky artwork, pure wood flooring and cabinetry, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, gigantic screens and futuristic-looking fireplaces found at Depp’s luxurious ranch. Framed film posters, ceramic plates, abstractly shaped mirrors, and even a gold-hilted sword take up almost every inch of wall space; while the master suite has a watercolour of a vest-clad Depp playing the piano.
The estate was put up for auction last month, and caught the eye of American radio presenter and fellow farm enthusiast Rick Dees, who made the highest bid of US$1.4 million (Dh5m) against an asking price of $2.9m. His offer was promptly turned down. Considering the financial rut that Depp appears to be in right now – what with a seven-million-dollar divorce, coupled with his allegedly lavish lifestyle – it all boils down to numbers, of course.
Fayette County officials have assessed the fair cash value of the farm at $2.3m, which perhaps explains why Depp originally reduced the price from $3.4m to $2.9m, but also why he refused to sell to Dees, who admitted himself that his bid was “too low for such a valuable property”. Not to mention that Depp first bought the property in 1995 for $950,000 and sold it in 2001 for a mere $50,000 more, only to buy it back in 2005 for $2m.
The actor also owns a 45-acre château in the south of France, and multiple other homes in the US, including several penthouse lo s in Hollywood and Los Angeles, many of which are currently on the market, much like his beloved horse farm. By Panna Munyal