Johnny Depp is determined to clear his name and protect his long career in Hollywood.
On Tuesday, a jury in Virginia is set to hear opening statements in a defamation lawsuit the actor has brought against his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
The 58-year-old said the actress defamed him when she wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a “public figure representing domestic violence”. Depp is never mentioned by name, but he said the article nonetheless implicated him as it referred to past charges the 35-year-old made when she sought a restraining order against him. Depp denied the abuse allegations.
The star, who has also made his mark as a producer, musician, voice actor, restaurateur, writer and winemaker, among his many roles, has a net worth of $150 million. According to CelebrityNetWorth.com, many of Depp’s films have grossed over $3.4 billion in America and $8.7 billion worldwide at the box office. The outlet noted that when it comes to his annual salary, he’s been known to exceed 0 million, making him one of the highest-paid actors in the world.
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The Kentucky native had more humble beginnings. Her family moved frequently throughout her childhood, eventually settling in Miramar, Florida. Depp dropped out of high school hoping to pursue his dream of becoming a musician. While his band The Kids moved to Los Angeles, they broke up soon after. The outlet noted that it was Nicolas Cage, whom Depp met through his first wife, who encouraged him to become an actor.
Depp’s first film role was the 1984 horror film “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” While he was busy working on small pieces, it was the 1987 TV series “21 Jump Street” that propelled him to fame. Depp was reportedly paid $45,000 per episode. The show aired until 1991. Then, in the mid-1990s, the sought-after actor started earning big movie salaries. In 1995, he earned $5 million for “Nick of Time.” He earned an additional $5 million in 1997 for “Donnie Brasco.”
The paychecks only went up from there. For Depp’s first appearance as Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” in 2003, he earned $10 million. According to the outlet, his base salary for the second installment was $20 million. He went on to earn another $40 million for a total of $60 million. For the third film, Depp earned $55 million.
In 2010, Depp played the Hatter in “Alice in Wonderland,” which was directed by longtime collaborator and friend Tim Burton. For this role, Depp took a low base salary and high starting points that culminated in a salary of $55 million. The outlet noted that he is currently one of the top 20 biggest acting paychecks for a single movie.
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Depp also earned $15 million for “Rum Diary,” $7.5 million for “Rango,” $18 million for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” and $20 million for “The Tourist.”
For most of his career, Depp’s finances were handled by The Management Group. But in 2017 he filed a lawsuit accusing the company of “gross mismanagement and, at times, outright fraud”. Depp claimed the company had cost him tens of millions of dollars. He also alleged that he racked up more than $40 million in debt without his knowledge. In addition, he claimed the company failed to file property taxes on time, made unauthorized loans, and overpaid for services, among other charges.
The management group filed a countersuit. They claimed Depp was overspending and his lavish lifestyle resulted in him not having enough cash to cover his monthly expenses, which amounted to $2 million a month. The firm insisted it was Depp’s reckless spending habits that led to such debt.
In 2018, Depp settled down with his former managers. The terms of the settlement agreement are confidential.
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In 2020, Depp received $16 million to appear in the third installment of the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise. However, Warner Bros. fired him in the middle of the Heard trial. Yet his contract required the studio to pay him regardless of the circumstances. He went on to earn $16 million.
Depp also retained a $5 million contract with Dior to appear in their advertisements for their Sauvage perfume.
Depp’s fans expressed their support, saying he had been falsely accused. But despite the personal and financial drama, Depp continued to work in Hollywood. He voices Johnny Puff in the TV miniseries “Puffins” and “Puffins Impossible”. IMDB also noted that his untitled Louis XV movie is currently in pre-production.
Depp and Heard married in 2015. Their divorce was finalized in 2017 after Depp agreed to pay Heard $7 million. Heard said she would donate the funds to two charities.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.