How Johnny Depp lost it all
IT has been a tough year for Johnny Depp.
Even for a man who prides himself on being a wild child, an enfant terrible and a wino forever, his landsliding public image has reached catastrophic levels. The actor has in a single year quite dramatically gone from beloved to beleaguered.
FIGHTING WITH CREW MEMBERS GETS RAP MOVIE SHELVED
In May of this year Depp was reportedly drunk and misbehaving on the set of a film he was starring in when he allegedly attacked a co-worker.
Depp, who had "smoking and drinking all day on set", took over directing the scene, and cast two of his friends as police officers.
Filming was taking place on a closed-off street in downtown LA where permits had been granted and time restrictions were in place.
When the location manager requested Depp, who was now acting as the self-appointed director, to wrap up the scene, the actor is reported to have drunkenly began screaming at the crew member, "Who are you? You have no right!"
The reports were told to the New York Post by a source close to the film.
The alleged altercation took place on the set of City of Lies (formerly The LAbyrinth).
The film stars Depp who plays Russell Poole, an LA police detective who investigated the 1997 shooting of rapper Biggie Smalls (The Notorious B.I.G.).
A suit was filed against Depp, alleging he punched his colleague twice in the ribs.
The movie has had its original September release date pulled, and no new release date has been assigned for the film.
THE HIT PIECE
June was a key month for Depp, who had arguably not been coping well. It was the month Rolling Stone posted a lengthy exegesis of his personal finances, undoing with it any good favour Depp may have had with an individual reader.
The 10,000 word feature, titled The Trouble With Johnny Depp, took to the very tail end of its expose to reveal that the actor was indeed likely the victim of criminal behaviour by his staff, who were fleecing him.
Rolling Stone explicated from the outset that organising the lengthy feature had been a feat in and of itself, wherein 200 emails had been exchanged and terms had included a condition of the interview that they not discuss the controversy surrounding the battery claims from his ex-wife Amber Heard "because of the (non-disclosure agreement)". Depp did not come across well in piece.
In a retaliatory interview in GQ, Depp calls it "a sham" and says he was "shafted" by a journalist with "an intention".
The Stone article found space to lay ample blame to lay on Depp for his financial situation, who didn't read every contract he was handed by his lawyers.
Depp's lifestyle is described as being somewhere between party hard and hellfire. Actor Penelope Cruz tells a story of Depp trying perform exodontia on himself while at dinner with herself and Stella McCartney.
The actor handed over many of his days to the journalist, who described him as a Peter Pan, saying a lot of his behaviour seemed "disturbing at 55".
"Boyish insouciance has slowly morphed into an ageing man-child," wrote Stephen Rodrick.
"Still charismatic but only in glimpses."
The article laid bare Depp's financial situation, which despite his multimillion-dollar earning potential, had become threadbare. He described his lifestyle as Marie-Antoinette-like in it's excess.
"It's insulting to say that I spent US$30,000 on wine," Depp is quoted as saying in the article. "Because it was far more."
He also goes on to correct the misrepresentation that he spent US$3 million on firing the ashes of his friend Hunter S. Thompson into the sky. "It was $5 million," he said.
DODGY MANAGERS: HOW JOHNNY LOST ALL HIS MONEY
According to Rolling Stone, Depp's financial woes have been a pernicious and crippling problem for the actor.
The goal for his financial manager was that Johnny would be able to spend with wild abandon and never have to worry about bills. But the actor's penchant to spend proved voracious and insatiable, with reports surfacing in 2016 that his monthly expenses on Pirates was $2.66 million.
Depp sued The Management Group (TMG) who had previously been charged with looking after his enormous personal finances, for "gross misconduct" and "fraudulent" self activity".
Despite the evidence against them, the company counter sued Depp and claimed his poor financial situation was due to his extravagant lifestyle and supporting his family members.
The company made suggestions that Depp had a "compulsory-spending disorder" to the tune of $2.8 million a month. According to Rolling Stone, the claim read, "Wine is not an investment if you drink it as soon as you buy it."
Depp settled with the company for 34.7 million, saying in a statement at the time, "The lawsuit taken out against The Management Group - and the subsequent settlement - is a further demonstration that Johnny is determined to take firm action to protect his personal and artistic reputation in the interests of his family and his career."
OCTOBER - NO MORE CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW
In the Rolling Stone interview, Depp describes having an "affinity" with his on-screen character Jack Sparrow.
He has spoken many times, with pride, of the campaigns he launched to get the controversial, alcoholic, swashbuckling, dreadlocked character over the line with the conservative Disney executives for a film that ultimately was marketed to children.
In the interview he bragged about mumbling swear words under his breath and them making the final cut in early Pirates films.
Depp's own vision was clearly diverging from that of the filmmakers, as he openly criticised the franchises' diversifying storylines. "Why must you have these f****** heinous subplots?" asks Depp. "It's convoluted. There is not a f****** soul that wants to see Captain Jack Sparrow sad."
He described how he formed the character back in 2015, saying he conceived of the idea while in extreme conditions which he created through the excessive use of saunas.
Speaking on stage, he explained to a crowd who laughed along with increasing nervousness. Talking about his excessive use of hot steam rooms, Depp said he sat there until it "started to affect (him) mentally."
"In that kind of heat, time stands still. The worst of it is if you move, it kills you."
"Yeah … his brain has been part boiled to some degree." Now that's cooked.
The comments led E News to ask the question, "Um, Did Johnny Depp ''Boil His Brain'' in a 1,000-Degree Sauna?" Um, I think he had already answered that question for you.
Say what you will about brain damage, but the sauna thing worked.
Depp took some time to cool down and then took the character to Disney.
He spoke about his screen tests for his Jack Sparrow character, "there was an eyeball effect, you know?" he said, describing the shock of the studio executives to whom he was premiering his character.
"I felt that on a ship he would be fine. He'd be bounding away on a ship. But on land, he'd get land legs." It's a simple enough concept. He's basically a man seal.
"The trouble with working with these big studios is they can get uncomfortable about certain creative decisions you make." Depp explained in October this year.
"That happened with Pirates. My view is if the studio isn't worried then I'm not doing my job properly."
In another interview in 2015 Depp reiterated that he had no fear of losing his position over arguments with the studio.
"I put it to them that they were welcome to fire me and replace me if they wanted. Because I wasn't going to change what I had built."
"I could see the writers going "That's not in the script," I found fuel in that. It gave em fuel to go further."
Depp then said Michael Eisner, the former CEO of Disney, had been on a "bent" about Depp ruining the film and asking if his character was "gay or drunk".
DISNEY DUMPS DEPP
Depp told that his "front fee" for the fifth and most recent Pirates film was an eye-watering $61.85 (£35 million). But after a fifteen year relationship with the franchise, and his vagabond behaviour on set and
It spelled the end, it seemed for his 15 year long relationship with the Pirates of the Carribean franchise, which earned him around $41.6 million per film.
In October reports surfaced that Disney was revamping the series with the scriptwriters from Deadpool.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, the original screenwriter Stuart Beattie employed classic putting-him-out-to-pasture language as he reflected on Depp's role in the franchise, "I think he's had a great run."
"I think it's been great for him," he continued. "It's been great for us, so I'm just very, very happy about it."
DIVORCED, QUICKLY MARRIES AMBER HEARD
Johnny Depp's marriage to Vanessa Paradis was lengthy for a Hollywood romance, and saw the pair have two children.
In 2010, Paradis told UK's Marie Claire magazine, "I could make an endless list of all the things I admire about him."
"We understand that, if we want our relationship to continue, we must give each other space, allow each other to go off on our own, and trust each other. Not everyone is lucky enough to be given space and trust."
The pair never married. But things fell apart in 2012 and January of 2014 reports started to surface of Heard sporting an engagement ring. Sources said the proposal had happened long before January, and Heard had just begun to wear the ring in public.
By mid 2016, Heard had filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences" after a public fall out with Depp. Heard appeared at the courthouse with a bruised face alleging that Depp had assaulted her on her birthday. The allegations have since been dismissed by a court in the US after the case was settled.
She sought a domestic violence restraining order from Los Angeles Police and the publicly available police documents tell Heard's story of a harrowing relationship riddled with drug use and manipulation.
"During the entirety of our relationship, Johnny has been verbally and physically abusive to me. I endured excessive emotional, verbal and physical abuse from Johnny, which has included angry, hostile, humiliating and threatening assaults to me whenever I questioned his authority or disagreed with him."
"Johnny has a long-held and widely acknowledged public and private history of drug and alcohol abuse. He has a short fuse.
"He is often paranoid and his temper is exceptionally scary for me as it has proven many times to be physically dangerous and/or life threatening to me."
Depp's lawyer responded that Heard was "attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse."
"These issues can and will be resolved," it read.
Depp and Heard later came to an agreement that included Heard receiving $9.3 million ($US7 million).
"Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile but always bound by love," The couple said in a joint statement.
"Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm. Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future."
The terms of the payout are that neither party are allowed to speak about their divorce. Heard donated all the money from the divorce to charity.
CONFLICT OVER CASTING IN HARRY POTTER
As Depp attempted to move on with his life following his divorce, conflict followed him. Upon receiving the lead role of Gellert Grindewald in the children's film. Fans began to question the appropriateness of Depp's casting, to the point where JK Rowling stepped in to address the controversy.
"Harry Potter' fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role," Rowling wrote on her website. "As David Yates, long-time 'Potter' director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn't happen."
"The inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been difficult, frustrating and at times painful. However, the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people [Depp and Heard], both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected. Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies."
Recently, Harry Potter himself (not really, Daniel Radcliffe) drew an analogy between sports players who are given a free pass for battery charges and others who are severely penalised for possession of marijuana.
Radcliffe himself had a Potter co-star turfed from being in the last three Potter films for growing marijuana in his home.
"This is a weird analogy to draw - (but) in the NFL, there are lots of players arrested for smoking weed and there is other people's behaviour that goes way beyond that and it's tolerated because they're very famous players."
"I suppose the thing I was struck by was, we did have a guy who was reprimanded for weed on the (fifth 'Potter') film, essentially," Radcliffe noted.
"Obviously what Johnny has been accused of is much greater than that."
- Continue the conversation with Phoebe Loomes on Twitter at @dollyybird