'Rolling Stone' gives an unflinching portrait of Johnny Depp and the financial mess he's in

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/06/23/rolling-stone-gives-an-unf.html


All kinds of ugly in that piece. Almost no-one comes away clean: not Depp, not his new “buddy” the lawyer (who’s also best pals with Oleg Deripaska*), not his old business managers and showbiz lawyers, not his freeloading family members, not his spoiled kids, not his employees (not one of whom could be arsed to go outside and operate the electronic gate), not even the author of the piece.

In one sense you’re left feeling bad for Depp because the guy obviously has some serious personal demons related to spending that he has to address, a process that won’t be helped along by all that wine and hashish he consumes as he attempts to channel Brando and HST. On the other hand, he’s still living in mansions with servants and it sounds like people have tried to talk him down when he was relatively sober and he just refused to listen or follow through. Losing $650-million can take its toll on a person’s psyche, but apparently not as big a toll as amassing $650-million in the first place.

[* the scumbag Russian oligarch best known to Americans as the probable cut-out between his bff Putin and Paul Manafort.]


I hope he learns to straighten up and fly right.


I bet he bought the hỡt dỡg water.


I don’t know about demons and so on. It just seem to be par for the course of some people who come into incredible amounts of money. We’ve seen this played out with countless sports stars, Nicholas Cage, MC Hammer, Mike Tyson and so on. Even those regular folk who win the lotto can end up in a bad financial situation if they’re not wise with it. I remember reading about Depp buying an entire island in the Caribbean and the first thing I thought about was that he was going to end up financial problems. I think the biggest trap would be accumulating too many white elephants. I could imagine that the cost of owning a castle in Europe goes way far beyond the initial price tag.


I’m SHOCKED to learn that the actor who spent the last quarter century portraying characters in various states of inebriation turned out to be a drug addict.




From the article it sounds like there’s something deeper going on than just not being prepared to handle that kind of money (he was an abused child as well). But yes, most people who gain huge windfalls without having basic financial literacy or a sense of perspective tend to blow most of it sooner or later.

This also happens with young heirs who’ve grown up with money, which is why it’s best to structure a large estate so that it’s released from the trust in stages based on age. A really good executor will also take the time to sit down with the heirs and explain all the traps, including people trying to sell you white elephants, freeloading friends and relatives asking for “loans” and gifts, and forgetting you have to pay taxes.


Oh yes, you can get a mansion in Italy or France for less than an apartment in central New York. Managing it on the other hand… I saw a program of how many old palaces in Italy are falling into ruins because the owners can’t afford to care for them.


Celebrity Actor Blows Fortune

Celebrity Actor Robbed by Manager

Tell me, which of these headlines is shocking?


All that wine WAS an “investment” - into his acting roles. So it is also a tax deduction.
In fact, the REAL story behind all of this is how deeply committed to acting he really is.
He is, in fact, preparing for his upcoming starring role as Nic Cage in YOU DON’T SAY


He has millions in artworks, collectibles and real estate he can sell and still live a lifestyle of the rich and famous.

Adulting can be hard - but much easier than living in poverty as he looks at old age bearing down. Try living in a rustic cabin in the woods for a few months to pull yourself together. Get back to basics for a bit.


I can see how it could be an easy trap to fall into, once you have wealth that can be measured in substantial fractions of billions. Money ceases to have any meaning at all, and there’s a whole class of goods and services targeting people for whom money has no meaning, priced accordingly. That’s when money starts to evaporate like ice on Venus, even in the absence of other factors.


I don’t know anything about money, but the last thing I’d do would be to hand it all over to one person/ company to handle it for me.


Yes. More than one guy handling it - and another guy auditing each of them.


How much does he make in residuals though? He has had enough big hits that he probably makes a lot of money from residuals.

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Now I can’t stop imagining a drunken Jack Sparrow trying to pronounce “residuals.”


I cannot even begin to fathom acquiring that much money… but conversely, I can totally grok how Depp managed to squander it.



Since a career in acting is far more likely to result in relative poverty than success, I’m guessing any preparation actors receive doesn’t include financial literacy, let alone prepare them for mega-fortunes. Since our public schools don’t give a shit about teaching it, and most parents don’t bother and many don’t posses it themselves, I’m not terribly surprised that many follow the trajectories of lottery winners.


Depp is claiming his lawyer and managers arranged a predatory loan for him that is eating up all of his “Pirates” residuals (after they collect their cuts, of course). According to money managers Depp was blowing (figuratively and likely in part literally) through $2-million/month while refusing to sell off assets, necessitating the loan. It’s the issue at the heart of the suit and counter-suit.

Financial managers like the one in this article who try to supply that education to artists are few and far between: