The Johnny Depp and Amber Heard court case is one of the most highly publicized legal battles in recent times. The Hollywood couple has been wrapped up in a grizzly set of circumstances since 2016 when Heard filed for divorce and accused Depp of domestic violence.
During his time in court, Depp also revealed that his circa $650 million of Pirates of the Caribbean earnings were stolen.
Actor Johnny Depp is one of the most recognizable talents in the entertainment industry. Making his debut in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Depp rose to fame on the small screen starring in a television show, 21 Jump Street. After many starring roles in the nineties, Depp found worldwide recognition in his most commercial venture — the Disney swashbuckling fantasy film, Pirates of the Caribbean (2003).
Playing the memorable Jack Sparrow amidst other A-list actors like Orlando Bloom (Will Turner), Kiera Knightley (Elizabeth Swann) and Geoffrey Rush (Hector Barbossa), Depp has gone on to star in all five films in the Disney franchise which have, collectively, grossed over $4.5 billion at the global box-office.
Fast-forward to 2016, and Depp would be separating from his ex-wife, fellow actress Amber Heard. The Aquaman (2018) star claimed Depp had been abusive towards her and issued a restraining order. Two years later, in April 2018, Depp would bring a libel lawsuit against the UK newspaper The Sun, and its owner, News Group Newspapers after they called him a “wife beater”. In 2020, Depp told the court that he was out of pocket by $100 million after his accountants had stolen his film fortune.
The Guardian reported on Depp’s announcement that his Pirates of the Caribbean earnings had been stolen during the court case dealing with Heard’s allegations.
Under examination from his barrister, Depp told the court: “I was in the early stages of learning from my recently acquired new business manager that the former business managers had taken quite a lot of my money. They stole my money.”
On being pressed for further detail, the Sweeney Todd (2007) actor said:
“It was put to me this way, because I had no idea about money or amounts of money. Since Pirates [of the Caribbean] 2 and 3, I had – and this is ludicrous to have to state, it’s quite embarrassing – apparently I had made $650m, and when I sacked them, for the right reasons, I had not only lost $650m, but I was $100m in the hole because they [the previous business managers] had not paid the government my taxes for 17 years.”
The latest evidence in the Depp and Heard legal saga recently emerged when bodycam footage revealed contradicting circumstances to those originally reported. This is, reportedly, making way for Heard to be probed by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), where she could potentially face jail time.
Depp and Heard co-starred in The Rum Diary (2011) and married in a civil ceremony four years later after Depp’s previous relationship with model and actress, Vanessa Paradis, ended. Paradis, and other ex-partner Winona Ryder (Edward Scissorhands), both showed support for the actor during the libel case against the British tabloid, which centred around Heard’s domestic abuse allegation.
Due to losing his appeal against the libel lawsuit against The Sun — which was refused by Judge Andrew Nichol — Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow is likely out of the next installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The series is likely to move on without its Jack Sparrow, and instead, a Margot Robbie spinoff is in the works. Heard is set to reprise her role as Mera in the sequel to the surprising box-office smash, Aquaman starring Jason Mamoa as the titular ocean superhero.
The Hollywood star also resigned from his role in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts movie, where he starred as the evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald. Mads Mikkelsen (Doctor Strange, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) is set to take over the role for the third installment in the Harry Potter spinoff franchise.
Do you think it’s likely that Johnny Depp will return to Pirates of the Caribbean?