Johnny Depp is currently facing Fairfax County Court in his libel lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard. The actor sued Heard for $50 million for defamation after calling herself a survivor of domestic violence in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed.
Depp’s team claimed the article damaged the actor’s reputation and hurt his career despite not naming him directly. However, Heard countersued for $100 million and claimed Depp repeatedly assaulted her.
While the million-dollar lawsuit keeps Depp’s finances at stake, the actor has already lost a significant portion of his multimillion-dollar fortune in the past. Early reports suggested Johnny Depp once had a net worth of $900 million.
However, these claims were later debunked as it was revealed that he had lost nearly $650 million of his income due to his indulgent lifestyle, addiction issues and rising legal fees.
Exploring the rise and fall of Johnny Depp’s fortune
Johnny Depp decided to get into the entertainment industry after dropping out of high school with the goal of becoming a rock musician. He moved to Los Angeles and became an actor after his band The Kids disbanded.
The actor appeared in the 1984 horror film freddie and quickly got her breakout role in the Fox TV series 21 jump street. He reportedly started earning $45,000 per episode for the show.
Johnny Depp landed the lead role in Tim Burton Edward Scissorhands in 1990, which marked the beginning of his remarkable work in films like What eats Gilbert Raisin, sleepy hollow, Dead man, Donnie Brasco, and Ed Woodamong others.
The 58-year-old enjoyed the biggest commercial success of his career when he was cast as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The film series became a worldwide phenomenon, and Depp reportedly earned $300 million from the five installments.
In addition to franchise success, Depp went on to appear in other blockbusters like Charlie and the chocolate factory, Corpse bride, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Streetand Alice in Wonderland.
According to the Telegraph, Depp has earned over £50m for his role as the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. With a lifetime of iconic roles and films grossing over US$10 billion worldwide, Johnny Depp was listed as the world’s highest-paid actor by Guinness World Records in 2012.
Unfortunately, his multimillion-dollar fortune took a hit after he lost $650 million between 2003 and 2016. According to The Hollywood Reporter, authorities first informed Johnny Depp of his financial troubles in 2012.
Depp’s attorney Jake Bloom and accountant Joel Mandel reportedly sat down with the actor at his Hollywood Hills mansion and told him his $2million-a-month lifestyle was nearly impossible to sustain. They also claimed that he did not have enough cash to cover his expenses.
In 2016, Depp suddenly fired his manager Tracey Jacobs and accountant Mandel. He then filed a $25 million lawsuit against the latter’s company called The Management Group (TMG) for “fraud and mismanagement”.
However, TMG countered and told the court that Depp was “responsible for his own financial waste”. The company also reiterated that the actor’s lavish lifestyle is unsustainable. They stated,
“Depp lived an ultra-extravagant lifestyle that often knowingly cost Depp upwards of $2 million a month to maintain, which he simply could not afford.”
The countersuit also alleged that Depp spent $75 million at 14 different residences, owned more than 200 works of art, and purchased expensive memorabilia kept in 12 different storage facilities. It was also said that Depp had a monthly wine budget of $30,000.
He also reportedly invested $18 million to buy a 156ft yacht, $4 million on an unsuccessful label, $200,000 a month on private planes and $150,000 a month on security.
A few years later, the actor told Rolling Stone that TMG’s claim about his wine budget was “insulting” because it was “much more.” Johnny Depp reportedly settled the lawsuit with TMG for an “undisclosed sum” in 2018.
Other issues that added to Depp’s financial troubles ranged from maintaining a full-time staff of 40 to extravagant spending like investing $5 million to blow up the ashes of the late Hunter S. Thompson d ‘a cannon. Speaking of his expenses, Johnny Depp once told the Wall Street Journal,
“It’s my money. If I want to buy 15,000 cotton balls a day, that’s my thing.
Depp’s financial troubles doubled after he was embroiled in a legal battle with his ex-wife Amber Heard. Their divorce was finalized after the actor paid Heard a $7 million settlement in 2017.
In 2018, Depp sued News Group Newspapers and journalist Dan Wootton for calling him a “wife beater” in a Sun article. However, he lost the case after London judge Andrew Nicol ruled the publication was not lying and that Depp was in fact abusive towards Heard during their relationship. Judge Nicol said,
“I have found that the vast majority of the alleged assaults of Ms. Heard by Mr. Depp have been proven on the civil standard. Plaintiff has failed in his defamation action.
At the time, Depp’s lawyers called the decision “perverse because it’s puzzling” and continued to talk about their client’s innocence. Meanwhile, the actor opened up to Rolling Stone about his lost $650 million fortune in an interview. He shared,
“It was presented to me like this because I had no idea of money or amounts of money. Since Pirates [of the Caribbean] II and III, I had – and it’s ridiculous to say it, it’s quite embarrassing – apparently I had won $650 million, and when I fired it, for the right reasons.
The Oscar winner also shared that he not only lost $650 million, but ended up in a “$100 million hole” because his team didn’t pay any tax at all. government for 17 years. Depp mentioned that his situation had left him “on the brink of bankruptcy”.
What is Johnny Depp’s current net worth?
Johnny Depp has managed to maintain considerable net worth despite his life of financial losses. According to Celebrity Net Worth, he currently has an approximate net worth of $150 million.
Although the sum is a far cry from his previous fortune, Depp’s salary is reportedly still around $20 million per film. In 2020, the actor reportedly received $16 million for filming a single fantastic beasts scene despite his retirement from the franchise.
In addition to his financial troubles, Depp also suffered a setback in his career due to his legal battle with Amber Heard and his domestic abuse allegations. As the former couple continue to fight their battle against defamation, it remains to be seen if Johnny Depp will make a comeback in the days to come.