Johnny Depp Was "as Low as I Believe I Could Have Gotten" After Simultaneous Amber Heard Divorce and Money Problems

Actor discusses split and financial issues in new tell-all Rolling Stone interview

By Samantha Schnurr Jun 21, 2018 5:48 PMTags
Amber Heard, Johnny DeppJason Kempin/Getty Images

Johnny Depp has taken a look back at the time everything in his life came crashing down at once. 

It was Friday, January 13, 2017 when the star simultaneously finalized his divorce from Amber Heard—a turbulent split that had dominated the headlines for the second half of 2016—and filed a $25 million lawsuit against his business managers, blaming them for his $40 million debt and alleging fraud, negligent misrepresentation, wrongful foreclosure and a breach of fiduciary duty. The Mandel Company fired back in a cross-complaint, stating in court documents, "TMG did everything within its power over the last 17 years to protect Depp from himself and to keep Depp financially solvent...However, ultimately TMG did not have the power or ability to control Depp's spending or his numerous other vices, or to force Depp to make wiser financial decisions."

At that point, the star's problems romantically had been a main topic of public conversation for months, beginning with Heard's initial divorce filing in May 2016. Behind the scenes, his money problems had already been mounting and he fired TMG two months earlier in March 2016. The Oscar nominee was in the midst of a serious low point as it all fell apart. 

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"I was as low as I believe I could have gotten," he told Rolling Stone in an in-depth, wide-ranging interview. "The next step was, 'You're going to arrive somewhere with your eyes open and you're going to leave there with your eyes closed.' I couldn't take the pain every day."

Discussion of Depp's divorce did not go beyond there due to the mutual nondisclosure agreements he and Heard signed. 

To cope, the star told the magazine he went on tour with the Hollywood Vampires. Depp also said he began writing a memoir. 


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"I poured myself a vodka in the morning and started writing until the tears filled my eyes and I couldn't see the page anymore," he described his writing routine, manual typewriter included. "I kept trying to figure out what I'd done to deserve this."

As he continued to the magazine, "I'd tried being kind to everyone, helping everyone, being truthful to everyone...The truth is most important to me. And all this still happened."

Depp also addressed some of the eccentric purported elements of his life, including one claim in his ongoing legal battle that he paid a sound engineer to feed him lines on set through an earpiece. They weren't lines—they were sounds to help him emote. 

"I've got bagpipes, a baby crying and bombs going off," Depp explained to the magazine. "It creates a truth. Some of my biggest heroes were in silent film...It had to be behind the eyes. And my feeling is, that if there's no truth behind the eyes, doesn't matter what the f--king words are."

He also recalled how he would take bootleg quaaludes with "just a little bit of arsenic." As he put it, "so the high was far more immediate." The high also apparently made him want to get punched by a bouncer once. "You either wanted to smile and just be happy with your pals, or f--k, or fight," Depp told the magazine. 

As for his wine budget, "It's insulting to say that I spent $30,000 on wine...because it was far more."

To read the full interview, check out Rolling Stone's article here. The new issue of the relaunched magazine will hit newsstands June 26.

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