Actor Johnny Depp is careening towards financial ruin caused by an extravagant lifestyle which is out-of-sync with the mediocre returns of his declining career.
Depp, who plays Jack Sparrow in the hugely successful “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise has had a lackluster career for the past few years with critical and commercial failures like The Loner Ranger, Mortdecai, and Transcendence. While there has been the odd acclaimed performance like Black Mass, box office gold has been elusive. For two years Depp has topped the Forbes list of overpaid actors because of his involvement in some big-budget box-office duds such as Alice Through the Looking Glass.
Depp has blamed his business managers- The Management Group, for his troubles and sued them for $25 million, accusing them of fraud, mismanagement and concealing facts about his financial condition. The Management Group have filed a counter-suit against Depp for about $4 million that they say Depp owes them and claimed that he was always kept informed of his finances. According to TMG, when warned about his extravagant spending, Depp “rebuked and cursed” his managers, asking them to find a way to fund it. The counter-suit has revealed additional details on Depp’s spending and his extraordinary profligacy. TMG have alleged that Depp wasted $18 million on a 150 feet luxury yacht, spent $30,000 a month on buying expensive wines for his personal consumption and spent $200,000 a month flying in private jets. He also spent wildly on collectibles which include work by such artists as Warhol, Modigliani, and Klimt, Hollywood memorabilia of stars such as Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe, pieces of expensive jewelry and a collection of 70 collectible guitars.
Depp also spent over $75 million on a string of residences he owns around the world, including a 45-acre castle in the south of France, an island chain in the Bahamas, several residences in Hollywood and downtown LA and a horse farm in Kentucky.Besides leading a high-maintenance lifestyle, Depp is prone to eccentric spending such as the $3 million he spent on shooting author Hunter Thompson’s ashes to the sky with a specially-purposed cannon. Hunter Thompson, who shot himself in 2005, was played by Depp in the 1998 film “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and the two remained good friends thereafter. The ceremony was attended by such luminaries as John Kerry, Bill Murray, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn and Benicio del Toro (who also starred in the film) but Depp alone footed the bill.
As Depp teeters on the edge of a financial cliff while his Hollywood star visibly dims, he might be handed a lifeline by the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise whose sixth installment – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will be released this year. The franchise, which has grossed over $1.6 billion worldwide and paid Depp over $300 million, may yet rescue his sinking career and re-establish him as a box-office draw. If not that, Depp might be reduced to the path taken by Nicholas Cage, a former A-lister whose career was sucked into a black hole after profligate spending and tax troubles forced him to work in such awful features as Outcast and Left Behind.