We have our first post-derailment deep dive on Johnny Depp after the reclusive actor let Rolling Stone in for a candid profile in the magazine. Depp was a mostly celebrated actor until 2016, when a fractious divorce and rumours of financial struggles soiled his image. He sued his business managers for $25 million, claiming they defrauded him by masking his debts. The Management Company (TMG) then countersued, claiming that, essentially, Depp didn't know how to handle his money and had cost the company millions of dollars.
Depp withdrew from the public, hiding behind his scarves and cigarettes. Rolling Stone reporter Stephen Rodrick spent 72 hours with Depp, trying to understand the depth of his struggles. Here's what we learned from the sprawling, painful result.
He spends more than $30,000 a month on wine.
In the beginning of his conversation with Rodrick, Depp say, "Let's drink some wine first."
A countersuit from TMG alleged that Depp spends $30k a month on wine. Depp challenged this:
"It's insulting to say that I spent $30,000 on wine," he said. "Because it was far more."
He also, according to TMG, has said, "Wine is not an investment if you drink it as soon as you buy it."
He also claimed that it took $5 million, not $3 million, to shoot the ashes of his friend Hunter S. Thompson (the famed journalist) from a cannon.
Depp reportedly funded the ceremony, which was per Thompsons' wishes. In 2017, The Guardian reported that the ceremony cost Depp $3 million. This was a detail revealed in TMG's countersuit — the suit used this expense of proof of Depp's grandiose expenditures.
Depp doesn't disagree that this was big expense. In fact, he thinks it was bigger.
"By the way, it was not $3 million to shoot Hunter into the fucking sky," Depp told Rodrick. "It was $5 million."
He's bankrolling a number of family members, and the extent of their spending is alarming.
At one point, his managers told him that a section of his family was spending too much. Depp asked to see a list of expenses, and his assistant literally couldn't print it.
"It's over 200 pages," the assistant reportedly told Depp.
One of the disputed parts of the lawsuit involves a $30k per month apartment that Depp rented for his mother, Betty Sue.
When she was diagnosed with cancer, Betty Sue moved to an LA home. Depp paid for it, and, when she started to get better, he claims he moved her back to Kentucky. But the $30k charge remained, and Depp blames TMG for apparently forgetting to cancel the lease. TMG says it canceled the lease, but the landlord required four months' notice.
Depp never had more than six months savings.
He took jobs in order to afford his desired expenses. In one email to TMG in 2008, Depp promised he'd get his agents to secure a "ludicrous" deal so he could afford a new house.
"I will call Tracey and Jake and prepare them to make some ludicrous deals to refill the glass and make it fucking overflow," he pledged.
At one point, Depp's bank accounts were so low that TMG advised Depp's employees to stop buying houseplants.
He's writing a memoir.
He's doing it like his idol, Hunter S. Thompson: on a typewriter. And he's drinking while he does it.
"I poured myself a vodka in the morning and started writing until the tears filled my eyes and I couldn't see the page anymore," he explained. At this point, Depp started to cry.
He added, "The truth is most important to me. And all this still happened."