Johnny Depp was once considered to be box-office magic, but over the last few years – and especially since his ex-wife, Amber Heard, accused him of domestic abuse – he’s become a Hollywood pariah. Though he started strong among fans and critics, his reputation took a downward turn, and hasn’t recovered since.
The 58-year-old actor — who has affectionately been referred to as a Hollywood vampire because he never seems to age — has been a staple in the movie world for the last four decades, since becoming a worldwide star after taking on the unique role of a boy born with scissor hands in Tim Burton’s 1990 romantic fantasy “Edward Scissorhands.” The two teamed up several times during his movie career, creating films such as “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” and “Sleepy Hollow.”
Over the next ten years, Depp starred in movies like “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” (1993), the crime drama “Donnie Brasco” (1997), and the dark adventure comedy “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (1998). While two of the three may not have been huge blockbusters, critics loved them. “Donnie Branco,” especially, was a huge success for the young actor who garnered widespread critical acclaim for his role.
The actor gained a whole new audience after he took on the swashbuckling role of Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” a powerhouse series that became a billion dollar franchise from 2003-2017. The “Finding Neverland” star reportedly earned more than $300 million from the “Pirates” movies alone – becoming one of the most successful movie stars in the process.
In 2005, the actor continued finding success, this time with Tim Burton’s remake of the 1971 movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” In this new, darker version of “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory,” Depp played the reclusive candy maker and reportedly earned $18 million. A few years later in 2012, the “Alice in Wonderland” star made it into the Guinness World Records for being the world’s highest paid actor, earning $75 million that year alone. However, in just a few short years, “The Rum Diary” star went from passing $10 billion in the worldwide box office to experiencing a dry spell while struggling to find work.
According to his former longtime business manager Joel Mandel, the star reportedly went from earning some $650 million over 13 years (including $55 million from his profit participation on 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland”) to a mere $3 million in contrast for his role in “Minamata” in 2020. Then, in 2016, Depp’s follow-up to the “Alice in Wonderland” film, “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” was a box office failure.
In 2017, Depp filed a $25 million lawsuit against his ex-business managers at the Mandel Company, accusing his former managers of “gross mismanagement” of his affairs leading to his financial troubles. In response, his ex-manager filed a countersuit reportedly revealing Depp’s indulgences per month on luxuries. In it, Depp was accused of spending millions a month on expenses like the $75 million to “acquire, improve and furnish” 14 residences located all over the world, the $30,000 every month on wine, and the 45 luxury cars and their maintenance, just to name a few.
Bad publicity, indicting reports, and job loss continued the downward spiral to a suffering reputation. But it was his wife’s accusation of domestic abuse that ultimately brought the actor to a new low, leaving him fired from the “Pirates” franchise and with a scarred reputati
The “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” star was dropped from the Warner Bros franchise in 2020 after he lost a libel case against The Sun, which had run a headline calling him a “wife-beater.” At the time, a U.K. judge found “the great majority” of Heard’s accusations substantially true, as previously reported by the Daily Wire.
Now, two years later, Depp is suing his ex-wife for more than $50 million for defamation he claims hurt his career in Hollywood. In retort, Heard says Depp’s legal team made false claims about her and is countersuing the actor for $100 million in damages. During testimony on Monday, Depp’s talent manager, Jack Whigham, testified about the “catastrophic” loss of work the star suffered following Heard’s accusations.
Depp and Heard tied the knot in 2015, and a short two years later in 2017, their divorce was finalized. Today, the couple’s trial continues and their story keeps unfolding, as Depp’s ascendence in Hollywood seems to slowly dissipate from any memories associated with his fame.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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Author: Katie Jerkovich
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