Depp digs a deeper hole

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LON­DON Johnny Depp gave an in­ter­view to Rolling Stone mag­a­zine – and it’s every bit as bonkers as you might ex­pect.

In the story, pub­lished this week, re­porter Stephen Rod­er­ick said it had taken 200 emails to get in a room with Depp, who brought him to his Lon­don home and in­di­cated he was ready to ‘‘bare his soul about his empty bank ac­counts’’.

The Hol­ly­wood star, 55, is locked in a le­gal bat­tle with his for­mer busi­ness man­agers over his dwin­dling for­tune. Last year, he sued The Man­age­ment Group (TMG) for US$25 mil­lion, al­leg­ing the com­pany mis­man­aged nearly US$400m through fees he didn’t agree to, in­cur­ring late fees via delin­quent in­come tax fil­ings, and mak­ing loans to them­selves and mem­bers of his en­tourage that he didn’t ap­prove.

TMG promptly coun­ter­sued, say­ing Depp frit­tered away his money on ex­trav­a­gances and ig­nored their warn­ings that he couldn’t af­ford to keep spend­ing at that pace.

If his in­ten­tion for the in­ter­view (ar­ranged by Depp’s lawyer Adam Wald­man, an Amer­i­can con­sul­tant with ties to Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin) was to coun­ter­act the no­tion that he’s out of touch with re­al­ity or knock down the re­ports of his out­landish spend­ing – in­clud­ing US$30,000 a month on wine, 14 pieces of real es­tate, an US$18m yacht and 45 lux­ury cars – it’s not clear whether he suc­ceeded. He may have ac­tu­ally made his sit­u­a­tion worse.

In a soul-bar­ing in­ter­view con­ducted over three drink- and drug-fu­elled days and nights at a rented man­sion in High­gate, north Lon­don, the Pi­rates of the Caribbean star suc­ceeded in por­tray­ing him­self as lonely, con­fused and sadly de­bauched, boast­ing about his spend­ing even as he railed against his ‘‘be­trayal’’ by TMG.

Dur­ing the in­ter­view, he never ap­peared dur­ing day­light hours, he smoked joints rolled from a pile of hashish on the din­ing room ta­ble.

Here are a few of the most notable rev­e­la­tions from the story: He’s blown through nearly $650 mil­lion: The Rolling Stone story es­ti­mates that over the course of his 30-year movie ca­reer, Depp’s films have made US$3.6 bil­lion in prof­its. He’s been paid ap­prox­i­mately US$650m. And it’s al­most all gone. Depp had no idea he was be­hind on his taxes: ‘‘I just had no clue,’’ the ac­tor told Rod­er­ick, who ob­served that the tax dis­cus­sion was ‘‘one of the few mo­ments when he looked gen­uinely wor­ried’’ about his fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion. His ac­coun­tants ac­tu­ally low­balled some of his most ex­trav­a­gant ex­penses: ‘‘It’s in­sult­ing to say that I spent US$30,000 on wine,’’ says Depp of one of the more waste­ful ex­pen­di­tures noted in theTMG law­suit. ‘‘Be­cause it was far more.’’

The same goes for the rocket he used to launch the ashes of his idol, Thomp­son, into the sky ex­actly 30cm higher than the Statue of Lib­erty. ‘‘By the way, it was not US$3 mil­lion to shoot Hunter into the (ex­ple­tive) sky,’’ he noted. ‘‘It was US$5 mil­lion.’’ He says the spring of 2016 was ‘‘the low­est I be­lieve I could have got­ten’’: Depp says he en­tered a pe­riod of ‘‘acute de­pres­sion’’ fol­low­ing the pub­lic air­ing of his fi­nances and the one-two punch of ex-wife Am­ber Heard ac­cus­ing him of phys­i­cal abuse and fil­ing for di­vorce the night be­fore his mother’s funeral WALT DIS­NEY PIC­TURES in May 2016.

‘‘I was as low as I be­lieve I could have got­ten,’’ he says grimly of his life in 2016. ‘‘The next step was, ‘You’re go­ing to ar­rive some­where with your eyes open and you’re go­ing to leave there with your eyes closed’. I couldn’t take the pain every day.’’

Depp says he coped by com­pos­ing his me­moir on a man­ual typewriter, Hunter S Thomp­son-style.

‘‘I poured my­self a vodka in the morn­ing and started writ­ing un­til the tears filled my eyes and I couldn’t see the page any more,’’ he says.

‘‘I kept try­ing to fig­ure out what I’d done to de­serve this. I’d tried be­ing kind to every­one, help­ing every­one, be­ing truth­ful to every­one. The truth is most im­por­tant to me. And all this still hap­pened.’’ He didn’t sell his St Tropez es­tate af­ter a tear­ful phone call from his daugh­ter: In 2015, Man­del told Depp that in or­der to cover loans that were com­ing due, he would need to do two movies and sell his French vil­lage near St Tropez, which he’d shared with for­mer part­ner Vanessa Par­adis and their two chil­dren, Lily-Rose and Jack.

Depp was ini­tially open to the idea of sell­ing Hameau, but ruled it out af­ter Lily-Rose called him cry­ing, beg­ging him not to sell her child­hood home.

Depp con­tin­ued to wa­ver on sell­ing the prop­erty. In­stead of cut­ting the price in the hope of a quick sale, Ro­drick writes, he kept rais­ing it from its orig­i­nal price of US$13m to US$27m. At one point late in 2016, Va­ri­ety put the price at US$63m.

Depp never did sell it, or any of his other prop­er­ties.

By Jan­uary 2016, things were so bad Depp’s em­ploy­ees couldn’t even buy house plants. Depp fired TMG two months later. He con­firms that a sound en­gi­neer fed him lines through an ear­piece: Asked about an al­le­ga­tion in TMG’s law­suit that claimed Depp had lines fed to him through an ear­piece on movie sets, Depp said it wasn’t just for lines. A sound en­gi­neer also played him sound ef­fects, which he said height­ened his per­for­mance.

‘‘I’ve got bag­pipes, a baby cry­ing and bombs go­ing off. It cre­ates a truth. Some of my big­gest he­roes were in si­lent film,’’ he ex­plained.

‘‘It had to be be­hind the eyes. And my feel­ing is, that if there’s no truth be­hind the eyes, doesn’t mat­ter what the (ex­ple­tive) words are.’’ USA To­day, The Times

The Pi­rates of the Caribbean movies have helped Johnny Depp earn an es­ti­mated US$650 mil­lion over the course of his ca­reer – and it’s al­most all gone.

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