How did Johnny Depp end up in a financial crisis?
Entrusting his finances to a professional business manager, the actor was asked to consult Joel Mandel before spending his hard-earned money, according to a source close to TMG. Not that anything seems to have been denied. Because in 2003 Depp starred in the first of five Pirates of the Caribbean blockbusters, and it was his character – the mumbling, awkward Captain Jack Sparrow, scalloped with dreadlocks and pearls – who turned out Pirates in gold at the box office. Depp was paid $ 11 million for the first installment and $ 20 million thereafter, with apparently over $ 40 million in payments in return.
Spend like a sailor
With the studio’s payments to TMG, Depp developed what the company’s cross-complaint would call “an endless desire to spend.” It started with a boat. After introducing Depp to acting, Nicolas Cage – who reportedly spent $ 150 million himself and went bankrupt in 2009 – showed him his spending style. He loaned him one of his two yachts, the 126 feet Sarita, and Johnny and his then-partner, French actress Vanessa Paradis, and their two young children, Lily-Rose and Jack, quickly set sail. When the family landed on the beaches of the Bahamas, real estate brokers, specialists in ultra-rarefied clients who can afford their own private islands, were upon him. This particular dream apparently spoke to Depp, who had visited Marlon Brando on his private South Pacific atoll, Tetiaroa, after the two worked together on Don Juan De Marco.
In 2004, Joel accompanied Depp on a shopping cruise to the islands. When they got off the yacht and on the Exumas beach they found . . . nothing. Little Hall’s Pond Cay, a chain of four uninhabited islands 60 nautical miles southeast of Nassau, was on the market for $ 3.6 million. There were six sandy beaches. And no plumbing, sewerage or electricity.
Video: Private Islands of the Rich and Famous
According to a source close to TMG, the manager focused on the downsides (the exorbitant expense of building infrastructure), while the client saw only the pros (a safe haven for him and his family, a place to recharge for his next big studio shot). And when the manager couldn’t convince Depp to leave the Islands, he did his best to negotiate the price at $ 3,225,000.
Depp’s attorney says the Bahamian island chain and other real estate purchases have been great investments for the actor and have appreciated several times above their acquisition costs. But if you own an island, it’s also mandatory to own the ultimate spending machine: a yacht. In Depp’s case, an old-fashioned fantasy of chimneys and masts that Captain Jack Sparrow could navigate in his spare time. Depp found her in Turkey: Anatolia, a replica of a steam yacht, built in 2001. The asking price was $ 8.75 million, with an additional $ 8 million needed for renovation expenses.
Knowing that Mandel would suggest analyzing math, as he always did, according to a source close to TMG, Depp sent his sister to insist, This is very important to Johnny, because a boat is the only place where he can relax and rejuvenate.
Fifteen minutes later, Depp called and Mandel reportedly advised him on what he needed to do in terms of work to meet the huge expense of owning the yacht as well as his other financial obligations: two studio photos per year, or $ 40 million in guaranteed compensation.
I understand and agree with this, Depp said, according to the source.
The yacht is said to have a multinational crew of eight and operating and maintenance costs of between $ 300,000 and $ 400,000 per month; Depp christened it the Vajoliroja: Virginia for Vanessa Paradis, jo for himself,
read for Lily-Rose girl, and Yes for the son Jack. He commissioned LM Pagano Design, based in Malibu, to decorate it in a style described in this magazine as “Orient Express via a Parisian brothel”.
Back in Hollywood, the castle must have seemed small compared to the open sea, so Depp sought to annex the cul-de-sac surrounding his house by purchasing all of his houses, at a total cost of around $ 10 million. They would serve as an art studio, a guest house for his mother and friends and, the largest, a state-of-the-art recording studio.
But in 2007, Joel Mandel believed Depp was not making the annual income he said he would, according to the cross-complaint. The actor is said to have become distant, elusive, exploding with profanity when challenged over spending. The lawsuit cites “hundreds of conversations” – face-to-face meetings, phone calls and emails – which were once friendly but have turned into “profanity tirades where he [Depp] abused the professionals around him and claimed he would work harder to afford the new item he wanted to buy.
At this point, according to a source close to TMG, Depp was expected to earn more than $ 60 million a year, before taxes and agent commissions.
Depp’s agent, Tracey Jacobs, and his team went out of their way to find new projects for him. “It just got harder and harder to find things that were good that would bring the whole boat in,” an industry source said. “He’s over $ 10 million and they just weren’t doing a lot of dramas that pay $ 10 million.” This led to bombs such as Transcendence, Mortdecai, and
The Lonely Ranger, not to mention a curious advertisement for Dior Sauvage men’s cologne, for which Depp reportedly received a fee of $ 16.4 million. (Jacobs did not respond to requests for comment.)
By October 2012, according to the cross-complaint, the situation had become so dire that Jake Bloom and Joel held a three-hour “come to Jesus” meeting with the actor in his guitar-filled recording studio. Since Depp didn’t like reviewing long financial documents, they summarized everything in a one-page summary, but Depp didn’t want to see that either. They therefore explained the situation to him, telling him that “immediate action” was necessary.
“Depp was facing a potential public financial crisis,” according to the cross-complaint, “which would have forced him to default on a multi-million dollar amount.[-dollar] ready with CNB [City National Bank]. The bank demanded payment on a $ 5 million loan, but ‘Depp didn’t have the funds to pay it back. [due to his] refusal to curb extravagant spending.
“To save Depp from a devastating public financial collapse,” TMG loaned him the $ 5 million to repay the loan, and he signed new loan documents with TMG, securing him with two of his Hollywood properties.
The yacht was sold at the end of 2013 to American buyers. Yet it was not enough.
Mandel pleaded with Depp’s associates to give him a warning – “spending watch,” according to a source close to TMG – on all extraordinary expenses so Mandel could attempt to intervene. If he couldn’t stop the purchase, maybe he could try to negotiate the price.
He started to receive frequent emails.