Sunday, April 2, 2023

Johnny Depp’s Slow Burnout

Johnny Depp’s lawyers say that in publishing his Washington Post editorial on domestic abuse, Amber Heard took a good, clean name of a good actor and threw him in the dirt. The Post editorial did not name Depp, but readers who know the troubled couple’s history can easily connect the dots, as Heard obtained a temporary restraining order against Depp at the conclusion of their brief marriage in 2016.

Apparently, she was writing about Depp, who had already denied hurting her.

“One false allegation can destroy a career and it can destroy a family,” Depp attorney Benjamin Chew said during the opening arguments in the defamation lawsuit against Heard going on in Virginia.

But day after day of testimony—the six weeks that trial has proceeded, and more to come—shown the public how spoiled Depp’s name is already under the strange open secret of alcohol and drug abuse and the uncertain. happened. Behaviour

“I never told him, ‘You’re a difficult customer,'” his former agent Tracy Jacobs said in a videotaped statement shown in court on Thursday. “I never used those words. But I was very honest. I said, ‘You have to stop doing this. It’s hurting you.'”

“And it did,” she said.

Jacobs didn’t seem eager to testify, giving Heard’s lawyers clipped responses. By the end of his decades-long run representing Depp, he said, “his star had dimmed.”

Hurd’s editorial was published in December 2018.

Last week’s testimony, led by Hurd’s team, was heavy on ex-friends and industry insiders who knew the couple, or who had previously worked closely with Depp, based on previous evidence. Treated substance abuse as a fact. It seemed from the debate how much harm it was.

This week one of Heard’s witnesses, actor Ellen Barkin, told a story about Depp’s overindulgence long before her marriage. According to Barkin, Depp was “drunk all the time” during the making of the 1998 film “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and once threw a bottle of wine into a room during an on-set debate.

The issue of behavior was leaked to the press in recent years. In late 2020, The Hollywood Reporter published an excerpt declaring Depp “radioactive” and “out-of-control”, calling him a “victim of Hollywood’s sycophantic culture characterized by his wild spending and substance abuse”. was rarely challenged.” Depp earned millions through the wild success of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, though his fortune was largely ruined. As one producer, who worked with Depp on a film, told the outlet: “He’s never been called that for the past 35 years. It’s typical in Hollywood. But I’ve never seen it to such an extent.”

Current defamation lawsuit proceedings, all streamed live online, allow curious members of the public a peek inside that world.

During The Trial, Depp Is Often Seen Drawing Or Writing At His Desk.
During the trial, Depp is often seen drawing or writing at his desk.

Samuel Corum via Getty Images

“It’s a weird thing to be around people like him — everybody wants something,” music producer Bruce Witkin said in a testimony heard in court on Thursday.

Witkin, who played in a band with Depp in Florida in the late 1970s, testified that the two were close friends for years until they broke up in 2018. He wasn’t sure what he had done wrong, but said he suspected that “some people behind the scenes are talking nonsense about me.”

Witkin said he had tried to get Depp to help him with his substance issues.

“I got him a therapist, but never tried to intervene or anything like that. We’d just talk about it, and he’d be like, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll be fine, I’ll be fine,'” He said. In Witkin’s statement, Depp’s sister Christie “was always concerned about his well-being, whether it was substance abuse or not.”

Hurd testified that he had seen Depp take all kinds of drugs: speed, opiates, Adderall, cocaine, Qualudes, MDMA, marijuana and, of course, alcohol. One of his tattoos reads, “Wino Forever.” According to eyewitnesses, Depp has a special fondness for the color red. Some, including Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez, testified that he had taken drugs with the actor in the past.

Depp admitted to using drugs recreationally on the stands—memorably, at one point, when he said he once gave Marilyn Manson a pill “to make him stop talking so much.” But he pushed back on the idea that he was out of control. Heard’s details, Depp testified, were “extremely ornate.”

“I’m not a lunatic who needs to be high or loaded all the time,” he told the court.

The messages shown to the jury told a different story. In text after text, Depp mentions his “monster”—the ugly side of him that turned out when he consumed too much—and apologized or expressed regret that he had imbibed too much.

“Pills are fine. Alcohol, my potential is huge and I won’t stop. Ugly and sad. Oh how I love it,” he wrote in a text message to a friend. Another sent during a period of abstinence In the message, Depp told Heard’s mother that her daughter helped him get out of “the hell of my own work.”

Jacobs called his former client “extraordinarily talented” but said he had “fundamental issues with anger” and “romanticized the whole drug culture.”

“Everyone who I think was deep inside [concerned],” Witkin testified. “But, like I said, the people on the payroll really wouldn’t say much.”

“They will try, but they don’t want to lose their jobs,” he said.

A 2018 Rolling Stone piece on Depp’s dire financial situation ended on a note of sadness, as writer Stephen Roderick observed after meeting Depp at a rented London mansion, “There’s no one around him who can’t pay.” Used to be.”

According to Heard, the dynamic was when Depp got drunk on the plane alleging an affair with actor James Franco. He allegedly slapped her in front of several others.

“Nobody said anything. Nobody did anything. You could hear a pin drop on that plane,” Hurd said. “You could feel the tension, but nobody did anything.”

(Depp testified that he was on opioids during the 2014 plane ride and was in no condition to act as an attacker, but rather, he locked himself in the bathroom to get away from Heard. But a text message indicated that he was drinking and taking cocaine-like substances.)

Heard alleged that Depp’s team helped cover up his misconduct. Security personnel would ignore him, yell at him or slap him when he charged, and they would replace him with dirty clothes when he left.

Among witnesses called by Depp’s legal team was her current bodyguard, Malcolm Connolly, who testified that Heard liked to “wear pants” in her relationship with her famous husband and “could be frostbitten at the drop of a hat.” Connolly admitted that he was very loyal to his boss.

During The Four Days Of Her Testimony, Amber Heard Became Emotional.
During the four days of her testimony, Amber Heard became emotional.

Steve Halber via Getty Images

The question of Depp’s finances at trial has presented itself in various ways. His lawyers called his current business manager to testify that Heard had sought in the couple’s divorce settlement, while his lawyers called Depp’s former business manager, Joel Mandel—to whom he allegedly He was sued for cheating. The case was settled in 2018, but it was not until evidence emerged showing how Depp had been in serious financial trouble since at least 2009. An email from that year showed how Depp had offered to sell some of his assets and other belongings to meet financial obligations. until he could cash checks from upcoming film projects at the time, which promised “20 million,” “35 million” and “another 20 million,” in his words.

The overall picture has been one of rapidly deteriorating behaviour.

Mandel testified that Depp began spending “very, very, very large” sums of money—he said the actor spent $300,000 a month on staff—and that with the spending came a flurry.

“My experience was that Mr. Depp gradually became less constrained, less concerned about whether he would hurt anyone’s feelings,” Mandel said.

“That started to change around 2010, and it grew over time,” he said.

Depp reportedly started arriving late on set.

“Initially, the crew loved him because he was always great with the crew. But the crew doesn’t like to sit for hours and hours waiting for the star of the movie to arrive,” Jacobs said. Got around too,” she said. “I mean, people talk. It’s a small community.”

In 2015, Jacobs said he made two trips to Australia, where the fifth “Pirates” installment was being filmed, to deal with Depp.

It was in Australia that Depp and Heard fought extensively in the mansion they had rented. The incident resulted in the amputation of Depp’s finger – and production on “Pirates” was temporarily halted – although each side blames the other for the injury. Depp said that Heard cut off his finger when he threw the bottle at her. In his time on the stand, Heard outlined the three-day course of Bender in which Depp allegedly took an undisclosed amount of drugs and consumed an undisclosed amount of alcohol, and cut his finger while destroying a telephone. He blamed her for “ruining” his life, she said. Photos displayed at the test show cryptic messages written on mirrors and furniture that Heard says were blood and paint Depp’s blood, from his finger.

“Good luck and be careful at the top,” read the message on a lampshade.

At the end of his working relationship with Depp, Jacobs said, the studios were “reluctant to use him.”

“People were talking,” she said, “and the question was about his behavior.”

Fans Cheer For Johnny Depp And Wave Hand-Drawn Signs At The Entrance To The Courthouse.
Fans cheer for Johnny Depp and wave hand-drawn signs at the entrance to the Courthouse.

Cliff Owen / Consolidated News Pictures via Getty Images

During his time on the stand, Depp gave the jury a primer on his psychology. He spoke at length in his calm tone of what he described as a verbally and physically abusive upbringing, where he and his sister “tried to stay out of the line of fire,” with Depp describing an environment where, Where he would regularly see his mother attack. His father, who did not respond. He compared his relationship with his mother to his relationship with Heard, stating that he used drugs in a similar way to cope with the temperamental nature of each relationship.

At one point, he said, “I’ve only abused one person in my life.”

Depp’s fans — a paranoid and supposedly human group that ensures pro-Depp viewership on TikTok and #AmberTurd tags continue to trend on Twitter — are working overtime to sway public opinion in their favor. Huh.

Still, it’s not clear whether the jury will side with Heard or will come down to declare an editorial defamation against him, implying that Depp was violent when he drank and used drugs.

It wasn’t long ago that another celebrity courtroom drama showed how the entertainment industry can enable abuse – albeit in reverse. In the case of Britney Spears, whose father controlled a legal system that required her to obtain explicit permission to make many of her life decisions, everyone said “no” to her. In Depp’s case, apparently no one did. For both stars, an inconsequential group of professionals—people who clearly put the celebrity’s best interests first, but also derive their collective salary from that person’s success—ensured that gears kept moving. Spears did shows, Depp starred in movies. amusement machine gone burrr, until it didn’t.

need help? In the US, call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for National Domestic Violence Hotline,


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