An Agent and Business Leader Recount the Rise and Fall of Johnny Depp
By BEN FINLEY
To hear actress Ellen Barkin tell it, Johnny Depp was a bossy, jealous and angry man even in the 1990s when the two dated.
“Where are you going?” Barkin said Depp would ask him. “Who are you going with? What did you do last night?”
Barkin added: “I once had a scratch on my back which made him very, very angry because he insisted it was because I had sex with him. someone who wasn’t him.”
Barkin recalled his relationship with Depp in a previously taped deposition that was played Thursday in a Virginia courtroom by attorneys for Depp’s ex-wife, Amber Heard.
Heard’s lawyers attempt to undermine Depp’s libel suit against her. Depp says a 2018 opinion piece Heard wrote in The Washington Post unfairly portrayed him as a domestic abuser and cost him a lucrative Hollywood career that included the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie franchise.
Depp testified that he never hit Heard and was abused by her. But lawyers for Heard say those denials lack credibility because he drank and used drugs frequently to the point of passing out.
During Barkin’s deposition, she testified that Depp was “always drinking or smoking a joint” or using other illegal drugs. She said she dated Depp for about three to five months and called the relationship more sexual than romantic.
Barkin co-starred with Depp in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” During filming, Barkin said Depp threw a bottle of wine in his direction as he was fighting with friends in a hotel room. However, she said she didn’t know why he threw the bottle away.
Heard’s attorneys argue Depp’s career tailspin was the result of his own bad behavior – not Heard’s editorial. They played testimonials that traced the actor’s rise and fall from ‘the biggest movie star in the world’ to a man who struggled with drugs, money and the ability to run for office. hour on movie sets.
Tracey Jacobs, who was the actor’s agent for about 30 years, said Depp “showed up late to consistently shoot on pretty much every movie” during their final years together.
“I was very honest with him and said, ‘You have to stop doing this – it hurts you,'” Jacobs said. “And it did.”
Jacobs said Depp was an extraordinary talent, but his behavior in the years before he was fired in 2016 became increasingly unprofessional, while his drug and alcohol use increased, Jacobs said.
“And it went around town as well,” Jacobs said. “I mean, people talk, it’s a small community. And that made people reluctant to use it.
Joel Mandel, Depp’s former business manager, testified in a previously recorded deposition that the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies had “catapulted him to a whole different level of success.”
“That meant more employees,” Mandel said. “That meant buying additional property. … It meant a bigger and more expensive life.
Things started to change around 2010, and it “became clear over time that there were problems with alcohol and drugs,” Mandel said. “And that translated into more erratic behavior, more stressful behavior, more times when it was difficult to engage in the kind of conversations I needed to do my job.”
At one point, Depp was spending about $100,000 a month on a doctor and staff to help him get sober, Mandel said. At another, he was spending $300,000 a month on full-time staff, he said. And he said there were also times when Depp was spending thousands of dollars a month on prescription drugs.
“Spending levels had increased very, very, very significantly and required maintaining this incredibly high level of income,” Mandel said. “And when he fell, the disconnection became untenable.”
Mandel said he became extremely worried about Depp’s finances in 2015, but Depp responded to those concerns angrily. He said the actor fired him in 2016.
Bruce Witkin, a musician friend of Depp’s for nearly 40 years, testified in a previously recorded deposition that Depp could become jealous in his romantic relationships.
This jealousy was shown with Heard when she was filming a movie “or doing something that he couldn’t be there to see what was going on,” Witkin said. “I think he would get upset.”
Witkin said he once saw bruises on Heard’s arm while he and Depp were working on a documentary about Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. And he saw Depp with a “big lip” once. But Witkin said he had never seen Depp or Heard physically abuse each other.
Witkin said he tried to help Depp with his drug addiction and connected him with a therapist.
“He was like, ‘It’s going to be okay. I’m fine,” Witkin said, recalling a conversation. “Well, you’re not well.”
Depp’s sister, Christi Dembrowski, has always been concerned about his well-being, both in terms of substance abuse and in general, Witkin said.
“Everybody, I think, deep down inside me was, but… people on the payroll won’t say much. They will try, but they don’t want to lose their jobs,” Witkin said. “I’m not saying they all fit into the category. But it’s a strange thing around people like him. Everyone wants something.
Witkin said his friendship with Depp began to dissolve towards the end of 2017, when the actor began to drift away.
“He wrote me this weird text saying I stabbed him in the back and said bad things to him,” Witkin said. “And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? And he wouldn’t explain it. And I have hardly seen him since 2018.”