Entertainment Celebrity How Johnny Depp managed to blow almost $1 billion
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How Johnny Depp managed to blow almost $1 billion

"If his current life isn't a perfect copy of Elvis Presley's last days, it is a decent facsimile."
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Johnny Depp has given an interview to Rolling Stone magazine which paints an alarming portrait of the actor, who is facing financial ruin after allegedly burning through about $880 million of his personal fortune.

Depp agreed to sit down with reporter Stephen Roderick – who exchanged 200 emails with Depp to secure the interview at his London home, agreeing to “bare his soul about his empty bank accounts”.

“If his current life isn’t a perfect copy of Elvis Presley’s last days, it is a decent facsimile.” Roderick wrote.

Roderick paints a picture of a heavy-drinking, drug-taking and chain-smoking faded star completely out of touch with both his finances and reality.

The veteran actor, 55, is locked in a legal battle with former business managers over his dwindling fortune.

Last year, he sued The Management Group (TMG) for $US25 million ($36.2 million), alleging the company skimmed nearly $US400 million ($538 million) through fees he didn’t agree to. He also blames the outfit executives for saddling him with onerous US government penalties by filing his tax payments late, and making unauthorised loans to themselves and members of his entourage that he didn’t approve.

TMG then countersued Depp, alleging the star suffered from a “compulsive spending disorder” that saw him burning through $US2 million ($2.6 million) a month to maintain an “ultra-extravagant lifestyle” that he “simply cannot afford”.

Depp’s woes are proving a major distraction for the backers of his upcoming films, City of Lies and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – two projects he needs if he is to keep the cash flowing and sustain his portfolio of follies.

From property investments to his liquor cabinet and appetite for seemingly insane indulgences, Depp has been a Midas-in-reverse – living high while driving his bank account to ever-worse lows. Here is where some of the money is said to have vanished:

REAL ESTATE

In 2017 court documents filed by his TMG business manager, Joel Mandel, it was claimed Depp spent $US75 million ($A99.6 million) on 14 properties. These ranged from an 18-hectare French chateau to islands in the Bahamas, Hollywood mansions, penthouse lofts in downtown Los Angeles and even a Kentucky horse farm.

Mandel further claimed it cost Depp $US108 million ($145 million) to maintain the properties.

WINE

TMG claimed Depp guzzled $US30,000 ($39,000) worth of wine every month.

“It’s insulting to say that I spent $30,000 on wine,” Depp quipped. “It was far more.”

HUNTER S THOMPSON’S ASHES

TMG alleged earlier this year that Depp blew $US4.3 million ($5.8 million) firing the journalist’s ashes into the sky from a cannon because that was what he said he wanted done with them.

Asked about it by Rolling Stone, Depp said the figure was wrong.

“It was $US5 million ($6.7 million),” he crowed.

GUITARS

Depp’s love of music saw him treat himself to 70 guitars.

WALL-TO-WALL ART

Depp has a 200-piece collection with works by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Amedeo Modigliani, according to Mandel.

FLYING PRIVATE

The court documents allege he spends $US200,000 ($270,000) a month on private air travel.

EXPENSIVE WHISPERER

Mandel’s lawsuit also alleged Depp paid “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to employ a full-time sound engineer who fed him lines on the set.

Depp neither confirmed nor denied this in his Rolling Stone interview but admitted he did have bizarre sounds fed to him –  “bagpipes, a baby crying and bombs going off” – that he says make him act with his eyes.

“My feeling is that if there’s no truth behind the eyes, doesn’t matter what the f*****g words are,” he said.

CARS AND BIKES

Depp has reportedly bought as many as 45 luxury vehicles, including the vintage 1940 Harley-Davidson motorbike that was the first extravagant gift he gave himself after landing his first big movie role.

LOADS OF STORAGE

Depp allegedly has 12 storage facilities costing a staggering $682,000. Why does he need them when there are those 14 properties to store his stuff? Because he has also acquired a multi-million dollar trove of Hollywood memorabilia, mostly related to Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe.

A PERSONAL DOCTOR

Mandel claims Depp also forks out approximately $1.7 million per year to keep a doctor on 24/7 call.

SECURITY

Security has also cost Depp dearly, allegedly draining $2.61 million annually for around-the-clock protection. A devoted son, he also hired a bodyguard for his late mum even though she wasn’t a public figure and would have been better off with a nurse as her health declined.

STAFF WAGES

His 40-person staff cost him more than $4.3 million a year, but that is just one aspect of his private workforce.

Other and more troubling items are payments to sister Christi — who has worked for him since early in his career — and his assistant, Nathan Holmes. In court documents, he claimed Mandel paid Christi more than $9.6 million and Holmes over $1 million, all without his consent.

LATE FEES

With big earnings bring big taxes and Depp alleges his managers didn’t pay his on time, resulting in a jaw-dropping $10.7 million in late fees to Uncle Sam, Rolling Stone reports.

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