Home News

Former business manager discusses Johnny Depp’s alleged extravagant spending habits

Depp has previously stated he lost his $650 million fortune at the peak of his fame.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp Getty Images Remix By Keane Eacobellis

A former business manager for Johnny Depp is detailing the allegedly extravagent spending habits of the actor amid a trial of dueling defamation lawsuits involving his ex-wife, Amber Heard.

In a pre-recorded deposition, Joel Mandel testified that he became “extremely concerned” over Depp’s financial situation in 2015. Depp previously sued Mandel’s management firm, The Management Group, in 2017 for $25 million, for fraud and misrepresentation, for which the two parties reached an undisclosed settlement in 2018, CBS News reports.

When asked whether Depp had “extravagant” spending habits, by Heard’s lawyer, Mandel said yes.

“Income was very significant. Spending was very significant. And again, the spending levels had grown very, very, very large and required that level of incredibly high income to be maintained. And when it dropped off, the disconnect became untenable.”

Adam Waldman, Depp’s lawyer, also admitted in a pre-recorded deposition he gave two audio recordings to the newspaper The Daily Mail. Presumably, he was referring to the audio that leaked to the publication in 2020 in which Heard seemed to admit to hitting Depp and starting physical fights.

Tracey Jacobs, Depp’s former talent agent, also testified Depp had never been accused of physical abuse by a woman other than Heard.

Bruce Witkin, Depp’s former close friend, also testified about Depp’s alleged drug and alcohol use, saying the period of time when Depp was filming The Lone Ranger was one in which the actor seemed focused and not drinking. He added that he believed Dr. David Kipper, Depp’s supposed bona fide as a “sober doctor” as Depp’s physician, was a “scam.”

Witkin also testified he once saw a bruise on Heard’s arm that looked like it was from someone grabbing her, not punching her. 

Depp also appeared to have a fat lip at one point in time, during a musical rehearsal, according to Witkin.

According to The Guardian, Depp testified in a 2020 libel lawsuit in London that he lost $650 million in wealth that he had earned at the height of his Pirates of the Caribbean fame. He claimed he was left owing $100 million in taxes due to business managers allegedly stealing from him. 

Depp ultimately lost the case in London, in which he was suing the newspaper The Sun for calling Depp a “wife beater” in an article. The judge ruled it was not a libelous, as the evidence Heard presented supported the claim.

Depp’s current lawsuit, unfolding in a courtroom in Fairfax, Virginia, centers on an op-ed Heard wrote for the Washington Post in 2018, in which she describes herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Though Depp isn’t named in the article, Heard made prior allegations of abuse against Depp in 2016, which he claims are false and are referenced in the piece.

Depp is suing Heard for $50 million for defamation, for allegedly false domestic abuse accusations she made against him that he said hurt his career. Heard is counter-suing Depp, also for defamation, for $100 million.

While Heard maintains she was abused by Depp, Depp claims just the opposite: he was abused by her and not the other way around.

Earlier this week, Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez, and some of her friends testified they saw injuries on Heard’s face, at various times, while she was in a relationship with Depp. Heard also has other witnesses lined up to testify, including actor Ellen Barkin, and Depp himself. This will be the second time Depp has taken the stand after he previously testified on behalf of himself and was cross-examined by Heard’s team, last month.

Danny Peterson
About the author

Danny Peterson

Danny Peterson covers entertainment news for WGTC and has previously enjoyed writing about housing, homelessness, the coronavirus pandemic, historic 2020 Oregon wildfires, and racial justice protests. Originally from Juneau, Alaska, Danny received his Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Alaska Southeast and a Master's in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Oregon. He has written for The Portland Observer, worked as a digital enterprise reporter at KOIN 6 News, and is the co-producer of the award-winning documentary 'Escape from Eagle Creek.'