Depp 'near financial ruin'

Actor Johnny Depp, who won Favorite Movie Icon at the People's Choice Awards last month, is said to have spent extravagantly, including forking out US$75 million (S$106 million) on 14 homes.
Actor Johnny Depp, who won Favorite Movie Icon at the People's Choice Awards last month, is said to have spent extravagantly, including forking out US$75 million (S$106 million) on 14 homes.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LOS ANGELES • Johnny Depp's lavish spending - including US$3 million (S$4.2 million) to blast author Hunter S. Thompson's ashes from a cannon - led him to the brink of financial ruin, said an explosive lawsuit filed on Tuesday.

Over the best part of two decades, the 53-year-old actor has been spending US$2 million a month, said The Management Group (TMG), which is suing the star in Los Angeles for an unpaid loan.

The actor is alleged to have forked out US$75 million on 14 homes, including an 18ha French castle, a chain of Bahaman islands, several Hollywood homes, penthouse lofts in downtown LA and a horse farm in Kentucky.

Since 2000, the Oscar-nominated actor has spent US$18 million on a yacht, bought 45 luxury cars and shelled out almost US$700,000 a month on wine, private planes and a staff of 40 people, said the lawsuit.

Beverly Hills-based TMG said he has accrued more than 200 artworks by Warhol, Klimt and other masters, 70 collectible guitars and a Hollywood memorabilia collection so extensive it is stored in 12 places.

Depp filed his own US$25-million suit on Jan 13, accusing TMG of mismanaging his finances, taking out loans without his approval and concealing his ruinous finances.

"Over 17 years, The Management Group did everything possible to protect the actor from himself," TMG attorney Michael Kump said. "In fact, when Depp's bank demanded repayment of a multi-milliondollar loan and Depp didn't have the money, the company loaned it to him so he would avoid a humiliating financial crisis."

TMG says it repeatedly warned the actor over his "wanton" overspending, but he responded by rebuking his business managers, increasing his spending and demanding they find some way to pay for it.

The firm, fired by Depp last year, says it is owed US$4.2 million and was forced to launch foreclosure proceedings on his property.

"The only reason Depp filed this lawsuit was to interfere with TMG's ongoing efforts to be repaid on the loan they had made to bail him out," TMG said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 02, 2017, with the headline 'Depp 'near financial ruin''. Print Edition | Subscribe