Where did all of Johnny Depp’s money go? From Ford Mustangs for Amber Heard to his lavish lifestyle and those lawsuits, the Pirates of the Caribbean star’s net worth was once US$650 million …
Here’s what you need to know about how Depp earned his money – and how he blew it.
He earned big in Hollywood – including making US$68 million from just one film
Depp has come a long way since making his debut in horror film Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984 and shooting to fame in Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands. As a teenage idol in 21 Jump Street, he was earning US$45,000 per episode of the show in 1987 but since the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, his base salary for films has been more like US$20 million.
He reportedly earned US$300 million in total for appearing in five of the Pirates movies, and was paid US$68 million for playing the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, according to the UK’s Telegraph newspaper. Despite being dropped from Fantastic Beasts in 2020, he still got US$16 million after filming only one scene.
And while Disney’s Pirates franchise may have brought in US$4.5 billion globally, some of Depp’s other films haven’t performed quite as well. The Rum Diaries project (during which time he met Heard), had a production budget of US$45 million and only brought in US$24 million at the global box office. Depp was also dubbed Hollywood’s most overpaid actor by Forbes in 2016, with the publication estimating that there was only a US$2.80 box office return for every US$1 he was being paid.
But he has also accused his financial firm of mismanagement
Depp has accused his former business managers at The Management Group (TMG) of mishandling his money. The US$25 million lawsuit claims the firm took an unauthorised US$28 million contingent fee and loaned US$10 million to third parties without his permission. The star also claims that TMG didn’t keep proper financial records and failed to file his taxes on time.
He’s forked out millions in lawsuits
At one point he was spending US$2 million a month on his lavish lifestyle
TMG – who managed Depp’s money between 1999 and 2016 – alleged in the countersuit that the actor blew his fortune by spending US$2 million a month on his over-the-top lifestyle. In 2017, The Hollywood Reporter dubbed Depp “a star in crisis” for spending much of the US$650 million he had earned in the prior 13 years. Depp was branded “out of control” for wasting his money on extravagant purchases, including dropping more than US$5 million to buy three islands in the Bahamas.
The filing stated that Depp blew US$300,000 per month (US$36 million annually) on paying 40 full-time staff members and US$30,000 a month on wine. In 2018 Depp told Rolling Stone: “It’s insulting to say that I spent US$30,000 on wine, because it was far more.”
The countersuit claimed he spent US$75 million on buying and decorating 14 homes, a reported US$18 million on purchasing and renovating a 150ft yacht, and US$3 million to shoot his author idol Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes out of a cannon. The star later corrected them, saying it was more like US$5 million.
His ex money manager alleged that each month Depp was spending US$100,000 on an addiction doctor and US$200,000 on private jet travel. It’s claimed he paid a sound engineer US$100,000 a year to feed him his lines on set and US$10,000 a day (US$1.8 million a year) on security. The star’s love of art has also set cost him a small fortune. He reportedly bought three Leonor Fini paintings from a New York City art gallery, totalling US$565,000.
He lavished his exes with expensive gifts
The actor reportedly spent huge amounts on extravagant gifts for Heard in particular, including a Ford Mustang worth US$150,000 and an Ernest Hemingway book worth US$155,000.
- Depp made US$300 million from his appearances in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and US$68 million just for playing Tim Burton’s Mad Hatter
- The Fantastic Beasts actor’s lawsuits against Heard, The Sun and TMG exposed insane spending on luxury yachts, Leonor Fini paintings and ‘far more’ than US$30,000 a month on wine