Johnny Depp’s net worth was eye-watering, then he blew it all

Wednesday - 25/05/2022 14:05
Johnny Depp had a universal appeal and longevity that made him one of the wealthiest men in Hollywood, now he’s spent much of his fortune fighting legal battles.

Johnny Depp has had a fall from grace quite unlike any other.

For much of his 40 year career, Depp was one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood, with an appeal so universal and evidently enduring he became a major box office drawcard – to date, his films have grossed US$8.7 billion at the box office, worldwide.

And, as such, became one of the wealthiest actors in the business and was estimated, at one point, to be worth US$900 million (A$1.2 billion). Until he squandered it all.

The ongoing US$50 million defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard has brought fresh scrutiny on both parties’ lives, their marriage and divorce, past relationships, charitable contributions, and their bank balances. Specifically, what sort of a dent this case may leave in their pockets.
 

Johnny Depp is regarded one of the most “overpaid” actors of his generation. Picture: AP Photo / Joel Ryan
Johnny Depp is regarded one of the most “overpaid” actors of his generation. Picture: AP Photo / Joel Ryan
 

Johnny Depp’s net worth

Depp’s finances have been a thing of infamy.

He is not only known for being among the most “overpaid” actors in Hollywood – pocketing, on average, US$20 million per role, plus 20 per cent on the back-end, according to Celebrity Net Worth – but for his reckless and excessive spending habits, which have been laid out in an endless saga of legal battles.

In 2017, Depp launched a US$25 million lawsuit against his former business managers accusing them of stealing US$650 million from him, leaving him owing US$100 million in tax, and “on the brink of bankruptcy“, he told Rolling Stone magazine.

The Management Group counter sued, claiming that Depp blew through around $2 million a month to maintain his lavish lifestyle – including $500,000 in rental fees for storage warehouses, $30,000 for wine, $200,000 for private jets.
 

An aerial shot of Little Halls Pond Cay, the island owned by Johnny Depp.
An aerial shot of Little Halls Pond Cay, the island owned by Johnny Depp.
 

The actor also splurged on a private island (which he and Heard exchanged vows on), an $18 million yacht (which he later sold to J.K. Rowling), a failed record label ($4 million), $150,000 on security, and $300,000 to maintain 40 staff.

The world should have known the eccentric actor had a penchant for lavish spending in 2005 when Depp forked out $5 million for a cannon to blast the ashes of his late friend Hunter S. Thompson over Aspen, Colorado. A cannon. For his friend’s ashes.

Depp told Rolling Stone magazine that he “had no idea about money or amounts of money”; but most of what was lost was made from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise alone.

For the five swashbuckling films, Depp earned an eye-watering US$300 million – US$10 million for the first, US$20 for the sequel (plus a bonus of $40 million), and around US$50 million each for the third and fourth instalments. According to Forbes, the fifth film earned Depp a cool US$90 million.
 

Depp revived the character of Willy Wonka. Picture: SUPPLIED
Depp revived the character of Willy Wonka. Picture: SUPPLIED
 
Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow earned him $300 million. Picture: Supplied / Disney.
Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow earned him $300 million. Picture: Supplied / Disney.

The success of the franchise meant the actor commanded a much higher base rate for his talents. His 2005 Willy Wonka earned $18 million, The Tourist paid US$20 million, and in 2020, he was paid $16 million to appear as Gellert Grindelwald, and his $55 million payday for Alice in Wonderland still stands as one of the 10 largest acting paychecks for a single movie (his Pirates of the Caribbean pay comes in third).

His exorbitant spending, ongoing legal fees, and multi-million divorce settlement has been cushioned by the numerous business ventures and properties in Depp’s portfolio.

More Coverage

Moment it all fell apart for Johnny DeppDepp settles $25m lawsuit‘Jack Sparrow was drunker than Johnny Depp’

As of 2022, Celebrity Net Worth estimates Johnny Depp has a net worth of US$150 million (more than AU$210 million).

That said it may not be enough to soften the blow of Heard’s $100 million counter suit that is currently being battled out on a very messy, public stage.

Author: Editors Desk

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