THE DECLINE OF DEPP
As shocking pictures of a gaunt, pale and ill-looking Johnny Depp emerge, we ask: how did the actor go from Hollywood’s quirkiest leading man to public pity figure?
At the height of his fame, Johnny Depp was a global sex symbol, one of the world’s most lusted-after leading men and Hollywood legend, who could command £40 million plus per film.
Yet, last week, shocking pictures emerged of the troubled film star looking frail, pale and gaunt as he posed with fans in Russia during a European tour with his band, The Hollywood Vampires.
Wearing a black cap, black T-shirt and jeans, Johnny, 54, looked drastically different from the dreamboat the world used to know and love.
‘My hero looks ill,’ wrote one concerned fan on Facebook.
‘I hope friends are there to help him,’ another wrote on Twitter.
After a shocking divorce from actress Amber Heard, rumours of violence, drug and alcohol abuse and a spate of lawsuits, the beloved Johnny Depp of old is no more.
In his place is a new Johnny; sickly-looking, shambolic, shameful – a shadow of his former self.
Other than a voice-part in kids’ film Sherlock Gnomes, Johnny’s last film was Pirates
Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – the fifth instalment in the franchise – over a year ago.
The film was a flop in the US, with critics claiming audiences are tiring of the series and of Johnny’s swashbuckling turn as Captain Jack Sparrow.
The actor – said to have earned more than £487 million in his career – is also reportedly facing financial difficulties. He is being sued by two former bodyguards for unpaid wages and is still tussling in the courts with his old managers and lawyers, who sued him for £22.5 million after he originally tried to sue them.
For decades, Johnny was riding high – he wowed audiences in hit films such as What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Cry-Baby and Chocolat. His friendship and working relationship with director Tim Burton saw him take on increasingly quirky roles in Edward Scissorhands and Sweeney Todd.
Even flops like The Lone Ranger and The Tourist couldn’t take the shine off Johnny – Hollywood’s bad boy heart-throb who women desired, even when he tackled oddball roles.
He dated the world’s hottest stars, including supermodel Kate Moss and actress Winona Ryder, then shacked up with beautiful French model and actress Vanessa Paradis, 45, for 14 years. The pair had children Lily-Rose, 19, and Jack, 16, before Johnny left her and wed actress Amber Heard, 32.
Whispers of drugs, booze and outrageous overspending – Johnny once bought a French village, a £17 million yacht and a Caribbean island – followed him around, yet nothing was enough to tarnish his reputation.
Then, in 2016, everything changed. Amber – who Johnny met and fell for on the set of 2011 film The Rum Diary – filed for divorce, two years after their February 2014 wedding.
She obtained a temporary restraining order, accusing her estranged husband of physical and verbal abuse.
The fallout for Johnny was huge; Amber’s lawyers claimed she was ‘a victim of domestic violence’. And, following leaked photographs of her sporting a bruised eye and cut lip, Amber alleged Johnny ‘violently shoved her to the floor’ while ‘inebriated and high’.
They eventually settled the divorce in a £5.2 million deal and issued a joint statement saying their relationship was ‘intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love’.
It is a huge fall from grace for a man who – away from all the excesses, fame and money – is simply craving a normal life. ‘Simplicity – that’s all I want,’ says Johnny. ‘Simplicity, where the game of Hollywood doesn’t exist.’
Johnny’s heart-throb looks are long gone – now he looks pale and gaunt